Diseases brought by rodents may seem scary, but for a few San Franciscans,it proved to be just the inspiration needed to launch one of the city’s latest eateries, The Rat Cafe.
The pop-up cafe, which opened on July 1, provides the visitors with experience of having of pastries, coffee and tea for breakfast while being accompanied by a small handful of rats.
A History Lesson in ‘The San Francisco Dungeon’
Held inside The San Francisco Dungeon, it takes tourists on a journey through the city’s dark past from Alcatraz to the violence and greed of the Gold Rush. The breakfast session which costs US$50 (RM215) was started after some employees started to wonder about the venue of the blackdeath plague that happened 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 Matthew Gunter from the dungeon.
Experience Having Breakfast With Rats by Your Side
“Let’s bring the rats to life, let guests have a chance to get close and personal with rats, of course disease-free rats,” he said.
Several dozen individuals have spent money to attend one of two breakfast sessions whereby they get to interact with six to eight rats while having breakfast. The venue says more breakfast sessions 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 quite cute and the people who purchased tickets, I think they have already decided that they’re going to like the rats and not be too scared,” she said.
The rats are provided by Rattie Ratz, a California non-profit organization that helps find pet rats new homes.
“They love to be petted, they’re very affectionate. They’re way more affectionate than any small animal I know,” said Jennifer Girgar from Rattie Ratz
The Rat Cafe opens although there is a booming cat cafe trend in parts of Asia and in the United States and Europe, in which visitors sip their beverages surrounded by felines which are often available for adoption.