I'll have a rat with that: San Fran­cisco's new ro­dent cafe

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

The ro­dent-borne bubonic plague may seem un­ap­pe­tiz­ing, but for a few San Fran­cisco vi­sion­ar­ies, it proved just the in­spi­ra­tion needed to launch one of the city's lat­est eater­ies: The Rat Cafe. The pop-up cafe, which opened Satur­day, of­fers vis­i­tors a chance to munch on a break­fast of pas­tries, cof­fee and tea, and en­joy a bit of play time with a small hand­ful of rats. Hosted in­side The San Fran­cisco Dun­geon, an im­mer­sive tourist at­trac­tion that takes vis­i­tors on a jour­ney through the city's dark past from Al­ca­traz to the vi­o­lence and greed of the Gold Rush, the $50 break­fast was con­ceived af­ter some em­ploy­ees be­gan pon­der­ing the venue's sec­tion on a black death plague that struck in the early 20th cen­tury.

"We tell the story of the (bubonic) plague here in San Fran­cisco and we re­ally thought we wanted to do some­thing spe­cial for the sum­mer," said the Dun­geon's Matthew Gunter. "Let's bring the rats to life, let guests ac­tu­ally get a chance to get up close and per­sonal with rats, of course plague-free rats," he said. Sev­eral dozen peo­ple have shelled out the money to at­tend one of two break­fast ses­sions in which they get to in­ter­act with ap­prox­i­mately six to eight rats and have break­fast. The venue says more break­fasts may be planned at a fu­ture date.

Krissi Reeves, a spokes­woman for the Dun­geon, said tick­ets for the July 1 and 8 events sold out in less than an hour. "The rats are pretty darn cute and the peo­ple who pur­chased tick­ets, I think they have al­ready de­cided that they're gonna like the rats and not be too scared," she said. The rats are pro­vided by Rat­tie Ratz, a Cal­i­for­nia non-profit that helps place pet rats in homes. "They love to be pet­ted, they're very af­fec­tion­ate. They're way more af­fec­tion­ate than any small an­i­mal I know," said the or­ga­ni­za­tion's Jen­nifer Gir­gar. The Rat Cafe opens amid a boom­ing cat cafe trend in parts of Asia and even the United States and Europe, in which vis­i­tors sip bev­er­ages sur­rounded by fe­lines which are of­ten avail­able for adop­tion. — AFP

Peo­ple pet Emory the rat dur­ing a popup Rat Cafe.

Zoe Par­si­gian pets Char­lotte the rat dur­ing a popup Rat Cafe.

Emory the rat is held by Molly Dar­ling Roque dur­ing a popup Rat Cafe.

Win­ter the rat stands on the shoul­ders of a Rat­tie Ratz vol­un­teer dur­ing a popup Rat Cafe.— AFP pho­tos

Char­lotte the rat leans against Garth Hon­hart's face dur­ing a popup Rat Cafe at the San Fran­cisco Dun­geon in San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia.

Sprout the rat cleans her­self while stand­ing on the shoul­ders of a Rat­tie Ratz vol­un­teer dur­ing a popup Rat Cafe.

Emory the rat stands on the shoul­ders of Molly Dar­ling Roque.

Char­lotte the rat is held by a Rat­tie Ratz vol­un­teer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.