CHICO — Cats and coffee, what more do you want?
The Great Catsby Cat Cafe and Lounge on the Esplanade is a French-inspired restaurant that opened yesterday. The Great Catsby owners John Belongie and Jody Belongie love cats and books. They have created a beautiful space that celebrates all things kittens.
They sell cat food and litter and currently have 9 male kittens available for adoption. We are getting a female next week.
I really enjoyed visiting Great Catsby.
Serving coffee and snacks, the cafe is part café, adoption center, and co-working space. There is a cafe ribbon cutting on Wednesday. To reserve your spot, please visit www.thegreatcatsby.com. Belongies also accepts walk-ins.
The space has a nice large parking lot in the back. Belongies hopes to get traffic from the restaurant because they are located next door to Nash’s.
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the café’s name is an homage to literature in general. In addition to coffee and goods, rare cat books and cat goods are also sold. They are also working on a children’s book about cat rescue.
“People need to de-stress to get out of COVID-19,” said John Belonghi. “It’s a way to connect and become one with animals. Cats are so therapeutic .”
Jody Belongie said she likes cats’ independence.
“Dogs love you no matter what, but you have to get the love of cats,” she said. “They are very independent and I love their curiosity.”
Coworking lounges are for people who want to study or who may be working from home and need a change of pace. There will also be a sale of cat antiques, as well as classes and workshops.
“I can get my work done with my cat on my lap,” said Jodi Belongy.
Local artist Dave Anderson will exhibit a series of paintings in the café, including his Mona Lisa cat.
Belongies visited several cat cafes to get a feel for them. They decided to separate the food from the cats so that cat hair and dander would not get into the food.
All employees thoroughly clean the cafe, empty the litter boxes and take care of the cats. They have several employees. Jody Belongie was a licensed veterinary technician and worked at Chico’s Veterinary Office.
The Belongies celebrates the birthday of Lewis Wayne, an English artist from the 1860s to the 1930s, and presents a film about him. Wayne made drawings of anthropomorphic cats and kittens. Belongies enjoy Egyptian history since the Egyptians worshiped cats.
Belongies said many animals died when the Titanic sank. Her one of the cats, Babette, is sheltered in her pot of coffee and her photo is used on Great Her Catsby signs, business cards, and stickers. Belongies is writing a book about her rescue.
Belongies hopes the cat will be adopted soon and is working on a search and rescue. They have a fundraiser and people collect change and donate it to animal charities.
They host other events such as date nights, movie nights, painting and wine drinking, and trivia nights.
Belongies got married a little over a year ago. John Belongy is from Singletown and Jody Belongy is from Yuba City.
“The inspiration for this place came from bears,” said Jody Beronzi. “I was looking up at the decorations and thinking about what kind of store I wanted to do.”
The Great Catsby Cafe and Lounge is located at 1725 The Esplanade. The phone number is 855-0542. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10 AM to 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM.
Jennie Blevins writes a weekly business column. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to submit ideas, suggestions, or ask questions.