Imagine sipping your coffee in the company of a friendly lizard...
In the last few years, cat cafes have been all the rage. They give diners the opportunity to eat in the company of shelter cats in need of homes, and they promote adoption. Cat cafes have quickly spread all over the country, many of them enjoying massive success. One Virginia couple has big dreams for a different twist on the cat cafe idea: A lizard cafe.
Fiancees Sarah Tiller and Marcos Garcia, both 25, of Richmond, Virginia, have their sights set on opening their lizard cafe, Lizards and Lattes, in the next six months. They hope the cafe will give them a chance to share their love of reptiles with the public, while also educating people about these fascinating animals.
The cafe will have two sides, and the reptile side will be divided from the cafe side. Diners will be able to bring drinks to the reptile side, and the cafe will also offer prepared food. Once the cafe is open, the couple hope to expand, potentially adding beer taps for a happy hour.
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In addition to the typical challenges of opening a business, the pair has faced additional challenges due to having reptiles present. The health department was concerned about the potential for salmonella transfer from the reptiles. The approximate 20 reptiles will be thoroughly cleaned and tested for bacteria.
The cafe will reflect the reptiles' natural habitats, and adoptable lizards will be showcased, as well. Tiller is even hoping to get an American alligator and a pair of pythons, which will be in the cafe for display only. The 20 lizards will be rotated out on occasion, so returning diners will have new experiences with new animals.
Currently the cafe has no definite location, though Tiller and Garcia are exploring various options. They are crowdfunding through a GoFundMe page and hope to raise $15,000 to help them get started. They will take out a personal loan for the rest of the funds.
If you're in Virginia and want to meet some lizards up close and personal, Lizards and Lattes might be just the place to do that.
Would you like dining in the company of lizards? Tell us in the comments below.
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