UPDATE: Catsbury Park to Open September 1st!
News Release From Catsbury Park
It is with GREAT pleasure that we are finally able to share the exciting news you have all been waiting for.
Today we received the final paperwork, signatures and licenses to be able open Catsbury Park. The hurdles have often times felt unachievable, but now that we are here we can say it was worth the hard work and will be worth the wait.
So what does all of this mean? It means our food orders have been placed, our staff have been trained, the final decorative touches are almost complete and most importantly by the time you read this our first group of furry residents will be on their way here to the cat lounge!
We would love to open our doors today, but we want to give our feline friends a few days to make themselves at home, get used to each other, the smells and to find their favorite sleeping spots
What we are excited to tell you, our loyal mailing list subscribers and long time supporters is on Tuesday morning you will receive a reward in your inbox. Tuesday September 5th at 10am we will be sending out a special access code to our reservations page. You will have access to this for a full 24 hours prior to us announcing it on social media and the rest of the world! How exciting is that?
This code will work from 9am Wednesday 6 September, to 9am Thursday 7 September.
So set your alarms & don't forget to check your inbox (and spam!!!) Tuesday at 10am.
Next week, although the cat lounge will be closed to the general public while our residents get comfortable, we will be opening the cafe for limited hours, that way if you really can't wait, you can come and have a pot of tea or coffee, try out something from our exciting menu provided by the good folks at Cardinal and watch our cats settle in through the beautiful glass windows in the cafe. We'll announce those opening hours in that same email.
Thank you again for all your patience through this very very long process, we promise it will be worth your wait. We hope you enjoy your holiday weekend, and can not wait to see all your friendly faces in the cafe and cat lounge really soon!
Catsbury Park tea lounge and cat cafe to open soon in Asbury Park
By Elana Knopp
Kitty Images Courtesy of Catsbury Park/
Cat lovers and Asbury Park. It’s a match made in heaven.
Drive down Cookman Avenue and you can’t help notice the eye-catching name and logo on the front of the soon-to-be inhabited storefront.
Located in the heart of downtown Asbury Park, the Catsbury Park Tea House and Cat Lounge is a place for animal lovers tea lovers, and anyone else who wants a unique experience, to gather.
But this is more than a business. Catsbury Park is on a mission to help as many kittens and cats find loving homes through a variety of channels. The owners also want to create a space where the public can learn about cats, interact with them, and potentially take them home.
Owner Dean “DJ” Bornschein told JerseyShoreVibe that he is a cat lover and proud owner of five cats.
“After coming up with the concept and setting up the non-profit for Catsbury Park, we started fostering kittens in our home,” Bornschein said. “This was a great learning experience, and helped us get the word out about our organization and our vision for the cafe. It also helped establish our relationships with two local shelters, the Monmouth County SPCA and Camden County Shelter, as well as with the Oakhust Veterinary Hospital.”
Bornschein said that opening up a business—specifically in Asbury Park- was important to him.
“I grew up at the Jersey Shore, it’s my home,” Bornschein said. “I've watched Asbury grow from a desolate town into one of the most interesting and exciting communities on the shore. It’s always been important to me to be a part of the growing community, and once I came up with the concept for the cafe there was no other option than to open it in Asbury Park.”
According to Bornschein, visitors to the tea house and cat lounge are in for a memorable experience.
“When customers join us at Catsbury Park, we hope that they will find a place that they can relax and not only enjoy a great cup of tea, but also spend quality time with our resident cats that are available for adoption for a fee,” said Bornschein.
Bornschein said that he expects to have approximately a dozen cats at the lounge and cafe at a time.
“The cafe will be divided into two sections,” he said. “The first half will be the cafe side. This will include our counter where you can order drinks and snacks, our retail section with cat- related merchandise and plenty of seating to hang out and relax, use our wifi and just chill.”
According to Bornschein, patrons will be able to view the cat area from the café and, if they want, can go to visit the cats in the lounge.
“The other side of the space will be the ‘cat’ side,” said Bornschein“Customers can enter here for a small fee from their purchases from the cafe and spend as much time as they like with the cats. We encourage customers to bring a book, laptop, whatever--and spend time relaxing with the wonderful cats. I am a strong believer that spending time with cats can be very therapeutic and calming, so by all means, stay all day.”
All of the cats that arrive at Catsbury Park will have been medically cleared as healthy by the shelters and by Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, according to Bornschein, who said that he has been working closely with the hospital.
Cat cafes started to pop up around the United States just a few years ago, according to Bornschein, and have been successful in Japan for many years.
“As soon as I discovered that they existed, I just had to visit and see what it was all about,” Bornschein said.
“Moments after I stepped foot into my first cat café, I just knew this was something I wanted to be a part of, and there was no better place to open than Asbury Park.”
Catsbury Park will focus on adult cats who are available for adoption. As cat residents of the café, they will be interacting with customers. And, as Asbury Park is his favorite place, says Bornschein, the tea lounge will focus on providing high-end tea service and to offer a unique experience for those who come to spend time with Catsbury Park’s furry residents.
The café will focus mostly on tea, says Bornschein.
“I am a huge tea drinker myself and have always thought a dedicated tea lounge would be a great concept for Asbury,” he said. “There are many coffee shops in town, but very few places that specialize in tea. We will still offer coffee, but it will not be our focus. We will be working with a great tea distributor who sources from all over the world and will help us curate a tea selection which will vary with each season. Our menu will also include small bites that can accompany the tea. Most of our food selections will be created with the help of our good friends at Cardinal Provisions, also located in Asbury Park.”
Bornschein said that to call himself a cat lover may be an understatement.
“Yes, cat lovers is an understatement,” Bornschein said. “Our hope and goal is to do our part in helping as many at risk cats find homes as possible. Cat cafes have been proven to be very successful as an alternative to shelters. What we hope to do is provide a more representative environment that the cats would have in your home, as opposed to a shelter which can be a more strained environment. We intend to have cats available in our cafe for adoption that might otherwise not be noticed in a shelter environment—senior cats, cats with disabilities, or cats that might be shy at first.”
Bornschein said that his target opening date for Catsbury Park will be sometime in the spring. In the meantime, he encourages everyone to familiarize themselves with Catsbury Park and, of course, the stars of the show—cats.
“I encourage everyone to take a look at our Instagram page for updates on the progress, and to see many of our adventures with cats around the world, and our own five cats,” Bornschein said.
For more information about Catsbury Park, visit their website at www.catsburypark.com
A variety of novelty items are currently being sold on their website, including t-shirts and sweatshirts, mugs, totes, and pins. Donations are also welcome.