Start spreading the mews: paws-itive reaction to Cat Café opening in downtown Laguna this summer

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Based on reader response to the article in our Friday edition about entrepreneur Gail Landau’s plans to open a cat café in downtown Laguna, there are quite a few people looking forward with great anticipation to visiting her Catmosphere Laguna Café.

Landau is hoping to launch the café this summer. She envisages it as a rare combination of a café atmosphere with an adjacent lounge area where patrons will be able to schmooze (by appointment) with adoptable cats and kittens.

Landau admits, “I am a life-long dedicated cat lady and grew up in the Illinois countryside with many pets and ‘house guest’ animals of every sort.” 

For the last fifteen years, Landau has lived in Laguna Beach with her husband, Dennis Riff. As she relates in her Café’s mission statement, “Laguna Beach has long been known and loved for its artistic community and embrace of nature, in all its forms. Catmosphere Laguna is a café with a twist. 

“Our adjacent lounge is a comfortable and quiet place for cuddling, playing, and getting to know adoptable cats and kittens from local shelters.”

Gail Landau’s daughters came up with the Laguna-inspired logo

“Our environment transitions these homeless cats and kittens to our safe environment before they enter their forever human homes. Our felines are certified healthy and arrive with personalities! 100 percent of the proceeds from adoptions go directly to the care, treatment, and welfare of our cats and kittens. 

“Local Laguna Beach veterinarians will provide for medical care and spaying/neutering. Loving and safe forever homes and happy, healthy cats and kittens are Catmosphere Laguna’s mission.”

Landau gives due credit to Nancy Goodwin and Laura at LB Animal Shelter, who have been very helpful and inspirational during this process.

She adds, “My interest in Cat Cafés peaked this summer when I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina and came upon their Cat Café. I had an epiphany that I could create a fun and unique experience right here in Laguna Beach.” 

And she didn’t waste any time turning this dream into reality.

“Upon returning home, I met with Steve Dicterow, Greg Pfost, and Anthony Viera at City Hall and presented my business plan. I was so inspired that I set out to find the purrfect space and believe I have, at 381 Forest Ave [the former location of Laguna Wine, Coffee & Specialty Foods]. Catmosphere Laguna will occupy Suite 100 A of the build out.” 

 

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Gail Landau to open Catmosphere Café this summer

To bring her concept to fruition, she solicited the help of experts. “I assembled a great team including my attorney, Diana Cimino, and architect Todd Skenderian.” Landau adds, “I would like to acknowledge my consultants, Todd Crone - Web Technology Consultant, Caroline Smile - Restaurant Consultant, and Felicia Kaplan - Digital Marketing Consultant.”

“For 30 years, I practiced law as a litigator and now I have a Mediation & Consulting business. Every other year I served as the managing partner of my law firm, so you most certainly can say I have lots of experience in herding cats!” Landau notes with a smile.

Landau’s ABC documents are all filed, and she is awaiting the receipt of her wine and beer license as these beverages will be available in the Lounge along with the light menu items. The Café will serve delicious fresh toasts, salads, sweets and beverages (catnip tea, coffees, healthy juices and California Wines and Craft Beers). The Café & Lounge will both be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., with the last bookable appointment at 5 p.m.

 The Café will also include retail cat themed items as well as Catmosphere Laguna logo caps, tote bags, t-shirts, and more.

Landau stresses that, “Our visitors are free to snack in the Café area and afterwards enter the enclosed Cat Lounge or simply check in with their reservations and go directly into the Cat Lounge.” 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Mr. Misaki, Gail’s “Snow Shoe” cat in his spaceship carrier

Just in case anyone is wondering about kitty breakouts, Landau says, “There will be a glass vestibule from the Cat Café into the Lounge to prevent escapes. The kitties will have little doors from the Lounge into their private cat rooms, so they can retreat from the humans when they need to take a break.” 

When asked if she has any cats now, Landau responds, “Currently, I have one very large and very handsome 24 pound “Snow Shoe” cat. His name is Mr. Misaki and I adopted him two years ago from his foster Mom in Laguna Woods after researching Siamese rescues through the Laguna Woods Cat Club. He is my son in every sense!”

Update: Landau will be speaking about her new endeavor and its exciting challenges for The Laguna Woods Cat Club at an open meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Wed, March 14, at Clubhouse 3, the Laguna Woods Performing Arts Center, in the Laguna Woods community. Anyone may attend and the cover charge at the door is $3. Those interested in attending should contact the President of LWCC, Beverly Elwell, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Catmosphere Laguna Café will be located at 381 Forest Ave.

For more information, go to the website www.catmospherelaguna.com and follow the café on FaceBook at Catmosphere Laguna.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster.

Katie Ford is our Ad Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are the staff photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Account & Instagram Manager.

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