Luke Daniels, the landlord of Bristol, England’s Bag Of Nails pub, maintains that he wasn’t trying to cash in on the cat café trend by turning his business into a home for, to date, 15 of the animals. While it seems doubtful that anyone with more than a dozen cats hanging out in their workplace didn’t get to that point intentionally, Atlas Obscura has shown that such a thing is possible in a recent profile of Daniels and Bag Of Nails’ many, many feline barflies.
It all started when Daniels adopted a silver tabby called Malcom at the same time he started working at Bag Of Nails in 2011. Over the last decade, Malcom and another cat named Beresford parented 15 kids that still live in the pub as Daniels’ pets. This may seem like a lot, but it’s apparently down from the “24 cats, including six kittens” that previously occupied his establishment. When things got to that point, Daniels gave a bunch of the cats away, got the parents spayed and neutered, but was still left with the crowd of 15.
Now, in 2021, the pub has a sign out front advertising “pub kittens in training.” The cats wander around interacting with customers, and, as the article notes, it’s become “commonly known as ‘Bristol’s Cat Pub.’” Despite this, Daniels “rejects any comparison to cat cafes” and “maintains that the pub’s main attractions are the decent pints he pulls, his superb collection of vinyl records, and numerous board games available to patrons.”
Though he doesn’t want his place to be known just for its many cats, Daniels’ branding problem is at least a lot better than the alternative: Accidentally gaining a reputation as one of those hip new rat cafes.
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