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Man accidentally creates city's first cat pub while trying to start a new business venture

The city might have countless pubs to cater to their customers but none of them provide free cuddles from cats while customers sip ale.

Man accidentally creates city's first cat pub while trying to start a new business venture
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Bag of Nails, Bristol

If you are strolling into a bar or a pub, the most you expect are some snacks and drinks over which you can have a hearty chat with your buddies. There might even be some music. However, when you step into a pub called The Bag of Nails located in Bristol, United Kingdom, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Unlike typical pubs, this joint gives you something extra alongside the staples like board games or snacks on the counter. You might spot a couple of cuddy cats lying leisurely over the counter, or anywhere they like, really. The great thing is that the customers can go and cuddle them all they want so it is practically heaven for cat lovers in the heart of Bristol. 


When the pub opened in early December 2011, owner Luke Daniels was more than excited to start welcoming new patrons at his pub. However, one unexpected fellow changed everything. In a 2011 post on the pub's Facebook page, a picture of a tiny kitten was shared with a caption that read: "The Bag of Nails has a kitten! I know. Could things get any freakin cuter around here? Meet Malcolm. All together now." But little Malcolm wasn't the last feline visitor Daniels had. Soon after, another cat came into the picture and he was named Beresford.


The two cats ended up having a litter of kittens who continued to dwell at the pub and so The Bag of Nails became Bristol's famous "cat pub." "Cats and beer," the pub wrote on another Facebook post, "It's what we do." Further down the road, many other cats started showing up and joined the ever-growing family of felines at the pub. All these cats had different personalities and soon they grew popular among customers when they started freely interacting with them.


"There is a lot of nuance to their individual behavior once you get to know them," Daniels told The Dodo. "Solarise loves a lap, Wolfgang loves chicken more than life itself, Sally loves a belly rub, Cirrus knows when you’re depressed. The list goes on." The Bag of Nails' furry friends can be found at the location at almost every hour of the day but they aren't confined to the boundaries of the pub. The cats are free to go outside and roam around the Brandon Hill Park area whenever they want or they can stay in the pub.


"We can’t guarantee the cats [will be here] when you come," Daniels added. "But, if you hang around long enough or keep coming back, they will show you some love for sure." The pub completed its 10 years in 2021 with a family of cute felines and loyal customers in attendance. The pub continues to serve its customers from all over the world with quality drinks and free cuddles from the cats and hopes to increase the business in the future.

Having animals in pubs might be a rare thing in Europe but in some of the East Asian countries, the culture is pretty popular with their cat, dog or even bird-themed cafes. For example, The True Love Café at Neverland in Bangkok, Thailand is a must-visit for dog lovers. This is the only Siberian Husky café in the world. Here, the restaurant guests are allowed to play with more than 20 huskies, as well as other dogs who live at the café. The restaurant charges about 500 Thai Baht, approximately $15, to hang out in dog heaven for an hour.


Similarly, Japan boasts of countless cafes where customers are always surrounded by fluffy cats. One of the most popular cat cafes in the country is called Neko Cafe Mocha, located in Shibuya. Here, the cats have plenty of perches and places for them to sit and relax alongside the cat-loving customers. Along with the entry fee, one can purchase cat treats to feed their favorite cats. 


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