Last April, our nation experienced a brief, shining moment of glory when Purina opened a cat cafe pop-up shop in Manhattan. It was the country's first and a huge success, judging by the long lines for cats and "catuccinos." Happily, the first permanent cat cafe, KitTea, is scheduled to open this year in San Francisco, and more are surely on the way.
In Asia, however, cat cafes are quaint, dime-a-dozen affairs that are being overshadowed by a new trend: Barnyard animal cafes. Yes, cafe owners in countries like Japan and South Korea are now relying on the romance of the farm to appeal to a more eclectic clientele.
“Animal cafes used to be very popular, cafes where you can play with cats or dogs, but we thought an everyday animal like that wouldn’t have the wow factor of a goat,” Rena Kawaguchi, manager of a goat-themed cafe in Tokyo, told The Guardian. Here, a look at three of the next big trends in animal cafes — like goats — that we probably won’t see until 2030.
Back in 2012, rabbits cafes became the hang-out spot of choice for Tokyo’s cool kids, according to Kotaku. With names like Cafe Raabi and R.A.A.G.F. (Rabbit and Grow Fat), the fluffy bunnies and bun-themed desserts were a refreshing break from the city’s cat-crazy culture.
When it comes to creative theme cafes, South Korea is hard to beat. Case in point: The star attractions at Seoul’s Thanks Nature Cafe are two adorable sheep that roam the grounds. Customers can hug their fluffy necks and feed them bits of hay — truly, it is the dream.
And then there were goats. Everyone’s favorite (well, our favorite) farm animal is killing it at Sakuragaoka Cafe in Shibuya, where two goat friends live, play, and eat treats bought by guests. Rumor has it that you can also sign up to walk them, a prospect too wonderful to even consider. Bonus: the cafe’s Twitter game is strong.