A 3-year-old Branson cat cafe is set to begin expansion work next month to more than double its footprint.
Mochas and Meows LLC owner Mary Trexler said she’s leasing an additional 3,300 square feet in the Falls Shopping Center that will add to the roughly 2,200-square-foot cafe she operates at 3265 Falls Parkway, Ste. V. The business is both a coffee shop and a cat lounge that fills separate space in the shopping center.
“We’re scheduled to have construction start the second week of January,” she said of the infill work by general contractor P.G. First LLC, which Trexler also used when the venture launched in 2019.
Treat Architects PC is the architect for the project, Trexler said, declining to disclose costs. The work temporarily will close the cafe beginning Jan. 9, she said, adding the roughly 20 on-site cats that are available for adoption via Branson-based Shepherd of the Hills Humane Society will be relocated until the project’s completion.
“We are planning to have everything done and looking at some sort of grand reopening on March 1,” she said.
The shop is expanding into two suites formerly occupied by House of Cloudz Hookah Lounge LLC and will be next to Shogun Japanese Steak and Sushi. Trexler said a need for additional space had been on her mind all year, and she jumped at the chance when the growth opportunity arose last month.
“We had talked about moving to a different unit in the shopping center and also talked about moving to a different space altogether,” she said. “I told the landlord if it’s at all possible I’m going to stay in this shopping center. I don’t want to leave the space I have.”
Trexler said former landlord J.W. Franklin Co. sold the shopping center over the summer to Indianapolis-based Arnold Meyer Commercial Real Estate. She recently signed a new three-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Arnold Meyer, and it includes the expanded space.
“It will allow us to double the number of cats we keep on-site as well as the number of guests we allow in with the cats at any given time,” she said of the cat lounge area, in which customers can hang out with the felines for a cover fee of $5 for 15 minutes, $7 for 30 minutes or $11 for an hour. “Typically, we keep between 20-25 cats on-site.”
The cat lounge will occupy the venture’s current space while plans call for the suites to be renovated to become the coffee house portion’s new home, Trexler said. The new space also will include a kids’ sensory play area, more room for retail and an expanded menu.
“With the expansion, we don’t anticipate us ever having to turn away walk-in traffic,” she said, noting reservations have previously been recommended for the cat lounge due to high demand. “We may have a wait of 10-30 minutes, which is the maximum we’re anticipating.”
Mochas and Meows customers have adopted 155 cats to date, according to its Facebook page. The Humane Society covers all veterinary expenses, while Mochas and Meows largely depends on donations to cover supplies of food and cat litter, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
The congregation at Crossway Baptist Church is building a children’s wing at the west end of the church, and beginning in 2024, it will be home to a Christian academy.