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East Nashville cat cafe concerned over sharp rent increases

Posted at 9:57 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 08:39:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An East Nashville businesses said it will have to consider closing after its rent was raised 25 percent.

The Catio opened its doors in April of this year, offering a bakery and a chance to play with adoptable cats. The cat cafe paired with the Nashville Car Rescue to showcase some of the organization's felines.

"We've been really successful with adopting out cats, since we opened in April we've adopted out 50 cats which is incredible," The Catio owner Anna Talaga said.

But while the cafe tries to find homes for the furry felines, the shop's home itself is in jeopardy.

"I know that it's going to be a struggle," Talaga said.

In August, The Catio's rent went up by 25 percent, putting monthly payments for the 1,800 square foot space on Riverside Drive at about $5,000.

"We were already feeling the strain of the rental market, and we're going to start feeling it even more. In the coming months there's definitely a chance we're going to have to close because of it," Talaga said, adding that she's not alone. She's watched other East Nashville shops close because of sharp rent hikes

"There's a cafe down the street that recently had a rent increase that did close down," she said. "We're in the same boat."

Talaga and loyal customers worry if The Catio is forced to close, it won't just be another small business losing an opportunity to break into the city, but cats will lose an opportunity to find a forever home. Now they are hoping something is done at a local level to help small businesses survive surging rents.