Quite the hoot: Move over cat and dog cafés, owl cafés are now a thing

  • AFP
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2015 14:47 IST

After cat and dog cafés, the next animal-themed café to cross over from Japan and into the western world is quite the hoot.

Yes, that’s right. For one week, a pop-up owl café is set to open in London, UK, where punters will be able to have a drink while petting live owls.

Inspired by owl cafés in Tokyo, Annie the Owl Bar will open in Soho next month as part of an owl conservation program in the UK.

Due to high demand, organisers have implemented a ballot system for entry that has already received nearly 32,400 requests online.

Successful candidates will be able to spend two hours with stars like Annie The Queen, who loves attention; Darwin The Carer, who can eat up to 1,000 mice a year and rotate his head 270 degrees; and Winston, The Wise One, who flew from Asia to London single-handedly with his internal GPS-system. All owls will be accompanied by professional falconers.

Owl-themed coffee shops have begun to supplant the popularity of cat cafés in Japan, cropping up in Tokyo and Osaka, cities where cramped living spaces prohibit many residents from owning pets. The country also has a penguin bar and reptile café.

London, meanwhile, has become a hotbed of strange and interestingly themed pop-ups and cafés, including a cereal bar that serves cold breakfast cereals, cafés that have opened in former public toilets and a double-decker red bus that was turned into a pizzeria.

For about $30, successful candidates at Annie the Owl Bar get two drinks and two hours with the birds of prey. To maintain the birds’ natural nocturnal habits, the cafe will open at 8.30 pm and close at 2 am.

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