NYC Wants to Beat LA in Race to Open America’s First Dog Café

By Mike Pomranz |

© Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy

It’s on. Last week, we provided some details on The Dog Café—a Los Angeles-based project, still in the crowdfunding stage, that hopes to open as America’s first coffee shop/dog adoption center. Now, we’re getting word that a very similar project is in the works for New York City: It’s also called Dog Café (minus the “the”), and it is also currently crowdfunding via Indiegogo. This is some Biggie vs. Tupac right here, people!

The story behind New York’s planned Dog Café is also strikingly similar to that of its proposed LA counterpart. Just like the LA planner, Maggie Chan and Mandy Chow, visionaries of the NYC version, have both spent time working in animal shelters. Both concepts allow patrons to take home not only a hot cup of joe but also an adopted dog, if they feel so inspired. And both want to include a big, safe space for dogs to frolic that must be separated from the rest of the café due to health code rules.

Honestly, if I had to award bonus points to either side, I’d lean toward the NYC sob story that the prevalence of apartment-based living makes dog ownership far more unmanageable in the Big Apple compared to life in the Los Angeles sprawl. I hate taking sides in a beef, but that argument just makes sense.

One other thing the two projects have in common: Though LA’s dog café campaign launched on Dec. 16 and NYC’s launched just a week later, on Dec. 23, both campaigns are way below their proposed funding levels. Sure, Dog Café in NYC is just beginning to garner press now, but as of writing, they’ve raised just over $1,000 of their $70,000 goal. LA’s The Dog Café still hasn’t topped ten grand as they aim for the almost absurd $200,000.

Both projects are “flexible funding,” meaning the campaigns get their money regardless of whether they reach their goal. And much like in LA, the team behind New York’s café says they’ll move forward no matter how much they raise on Indiegogo, seeking independent investors instead if need be.

Some people might find the lack of dog café funders surprising, especially after the amount of money raised for cat cafés was through the roof. The answer, however, is obvious: Indiegogo is on the Internet; that’s the realm of cats and cat people. People love Lolcats, not Loldogs. If you want to raise money for dogs, you’ll need to do it the old-fashioned way: talking to strangers in the park.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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