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North Hills Monthly

Wine, Coffee and Cats Make Guests Feel Welcome at Colony Café

Feb 16, 2017 05:47PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine

On Thursday, Feb. 16, Colony Café opened in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The brainchild of former Brooklynites Erik and Sue Hendrickson, the goal of the café is to bring people and animals together for a good cause.

Sue, who was involved in animal rescue in New York, and Erik, who says that he “loves cats by marriage,” are hoping that guests come to the café to enjoy its food offerings, including small bites, dips and spreads, sharable boards, gourmet melts and baked goods, while also taking advantage of the opportunity to pet, and maybe even adopt, a cat.

“We’re really three different things here; a cat café, a wine bar and a coffee shop,” said Erik. “People can come here to enjoy all of this together or each separate thing.”

Animal Friends, the “exclusive cat partner” of the café, has provided 10 outgoing, sociable cats to interact with customers who get to visit with them in a cat loft, separate from the downstairs restaurant area. “The cats are really enjoying their swanky loft apartment,” laughed Shannon Tremblay, director of communications at Animal Friends. “They are acclimating really well.”

Only 10 people an hour can visit with the cats, which are able to move freely around the loft to find welcoming laps or to chase feathered toys; they also get an hour of non-human nap time each day. It is hoped that through this interaction, the cats will find humans who simply can’t live without them and find permanent loving homes.

Colony Café is open T-Sat from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Cat Loft is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and closed between 2-3 p.m. each day for a “cat nap.” To register for an hour’s visit with the cats ($8), visit