The Brighton Cat Cafe That Launched an All-Out Facebook War Appears to Have Closed

According to a sign on the cafe's door.

Guests play with one of Purr Cat Cafe's resident kittens during opening weekend

Photo provided

10/10/19, 10:30 a.m.: This story has been updated to include a statement from Diane Kelly, owner of Purr.

After nearly two years, Boston’s first cat cafe, Purr, has permanently shuttered, according to a sign on the cafe’s door. The news of the permanent closure follows a prior “temporary closure” message on the cafe’s social media and website at the end of last month, in which the cafe cited a “well-deserved vacation” for the “cool cats.” Shortly after the announcement, however, the cafe posted a Facebook event for a silent auction to “raise funds to re-open.”

We have no cats Kathleen! from r/boston

“My understanding is that the cafe is now closed,” said a trustee of NTABOS, the realty trust listed on the sign on Purr’s door, who did not want to be identified by name. From Boston Municipal Court records, it appears that Peter Davos of NTABOS sued Purr’s owner, Diane Kelly, for failing to pay rent. The judge ruled in Davos’ favor, and an execution for possession of commercial property was issued on October 4.

Kelly responded to a request for comment by saying “Keep on wagging the dog’s tail.” She went on to say, “If you can’t save yourself from reading this story, rescue a cat in the meantime. Or perhaps even a dog! I know this is better than Game of Thrones!”  

So…make of that what you will.

Anyway, while Purr may not have stuck around for too long, it certainly left an impression on Boston social media users. Months before the cafe opened, a very confusing and caustic saga unfolded on Purr’s Facebook page, involving disgruntled employees, some very heated comments from Kelly, and allegations of animal cruelty that were later cleared by the City of Boston Inspectional Services and commissioner William “Buddy” Christopher himself. Purr finally opened in November 2017, over a year after the cafe’s initial appeal to the Zoning Board.

Since its opening, reviews of the cafe have been mixed. While several customers on Yelp are complimentary, many others complained about the high price, lack of food, and staff.

If you want to reminisce about those months in which cat cafe drama dominated Facebook timelines citywide, you can refresh your memory here.