Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s 1st cat café, opening August 1 in Avondale. Mural photos!

(l-r) Stephen, Kelli and Adrian Steward—just a few of the family members pouring all the love into Birmingham’s first-ever cat café. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Back in February, Bham Now brought you the story of Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s first-ever cat café. Today, we’re excited to tell you that it’s opening soon!

Read on for all the details, including mural photos and a special 12 visits for the price of 10 pre-opening offer.

A cat what?

Kitty cats will be plentiful at Gatos and Beans, as will wine, beer, coffee and tea.
@KatieUptonArt had so much fun with this little piece of art on the wall of the café. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

No, it’s not a place for kitty cats to drink wine or coffee, but that could be interesting to watch.

It’s a combo adoption center, cat therapy place for people who can’t have cats at home, and a café / bar for humans.

What do the cats do at Gatos and Beans?

There are so many places for cats to climb, scratch, lounge and nap at Gatos and Beans.
Stephen Steward getting everything ready for the kitty cats. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

You know, all the things cats like to do, like climb, scratch, purr, snuggle, lounge around . . .

Here are two members of the Steward family hard at work getting the cat part of Gatos and Beans all ready.

So many nooks and crannies for cats (and humans) at Gatos and Beans in Avondale.
Adrian Steward taking care of final details. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

All the cats at Gatos and Beans will be available for adoption through Kitty Kat Haven and Rescue.

Paula Smith made some amazing murals at Gatos and Beans.
Detail from one of Paula Smith’s fabulous cat murals. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Who’s behind Gatos and Beans? And how did they get the idea for a cat café?

The founder even has a cat tat.
Kelli Steward loves cats so much she has a cat tat. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Gatos and Beans is the brainchild of the Steward family: Kelli, Stephen and Stephen’s two sons.

Kelli’s been working at Alford Avenue Veterinary Clinic for more than 20 years, and was itching to do something a little different with the animals she loves so much.

When she first started talking about a cat café with her husband Stephen, he was like “what?!” Once he started doing research, though, he became a believer.

In November 2018, they won second place in REV Birmingham‘s The Big Pitch Competition, and since then, they haven’t looked back.

While Gatos and Beans’ll be the first of its kind in Alabama, it’ll actually be the 99th or 100th cat café in the country.

Apparently cat cafés are a global phenomenon, and are especially big in Asia. There’s even a special search engine for looking up cat cafés, called Meow Around.

Who knew?

What will the humans do?

There's a separate bar / cafe area where cats are not allowed.
Look at this lovely bar made by Tracy Hand. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

The $10 price of admission gets you a “therapy hour” (meaning, about 50 minutes) of time with the kitty cats, plus a simple coffee or tea.

Reservations are required, and no more than a dozen two-legged guests will be allowed in with the feline friends at a time. They’re sensitive creatures, you know.

You’re always welcome to upgrade to get a fancy coffee drink, beer, wine, or a snack.

Once you get your drink, you’re welcome to go hang out in the kitty cat room for all the snuggles you can get in the time you have.

What about all the art?

"Cat Sanctuary" is a new mural in Avondale on the outside of Gatos and Beans.
“Cat Sanctuary” — a work in progress, by Gil Weingarten and Clay Stembridge. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

The Stewards have been longtime art lovers, and when you visit Gatos and Beans, it shows. They’ve got murals everywhere, including this cat sanctuary one outside.

Here are some of the Birmingham artists whose work is featured on the walls and on the bar of Gatos and Beans:

Here's the finished "Cat Sanctuary" mural.
Isn’t the finished mural amazing? See how many hidden animals you can find. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Doesn’t Gatos and Beans just sound so purr-fect? If you’re a die-hard kitty cat lover, you can get your pre-opening offer now, or keep checking their website to see when they open reservations. You’ll find Gatos and Beans at 4348 3rd Court S., Birmingham, AL 35222.

Stay tuned to Bham Now for more updates.

Author: Sharron Mendel Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference