Bunnies at the hop along cafe

Hop Along Café, Pittsburgh’s First Rabbit Café, Coming to Downtown

Pittsburgh has a lot of cool stuff cafesMany of them are dog friendly. We even have a little cat cafes. The next frontier for the animal and beverage market? rabbits;

Hop Along Café jumps ahead of the herd to be Pittsburgh’s first bunny café. Owner Bex Tasker is still in the early stages of business, which will be located in 625 Stanwix St., Downtown. The grand opening will depend on building completion and obtaining permits, but they hope to have coffee by Halloween. Nika Gill will act as General Manager.

Much like a cat cafe, jump along It will merge an animal shelter with traditional café offerings, and eventually, Tasker says, a small selection of groceries.

“Our goal is to strike a balance between sustainability, quality, and accessibility in all of our offerings,” says Tasker. “We will also apply for EBT acceptance and plan to source our products from local farms and farmers.” (Electronic Benefit Transfer is a system that allows a supplemental nutritional assistance program participant to pay for food using SNAP benefits.)

The main draw, of course, is the animals.

Hop Along plans to work with the locals rescue groups To serve as a foster home for adoptable animals – a place to hang out until they find their “permanent home”. Rabbits will be separated from the café by a double door system and placed in “species rooms”. Guests can spend time with the rabbits during 45-minute visitation periods from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $15, which can be applied toward the cost of adopting an animal.

Hop Along Cafe General Manager Nika Gill (left) and owner Bex Tasker (right) outside 625 Stanwix St. Image courtesy of Bex Tasker.

Adoption fees will be set by partner rescue groups and will vary based on factors such as the animal’s age, medical needs, length of time in the rescue process, and whether they are part of a bonded pair.

“Our goal is to make animal adoption accessible to everyone who is able to provide a quality, loving home,” says Tasker.

Visiting hours will always be supervised by a staff member who is educated about rabbit body language and group behaviour.

Tasker says rabbits are one of the most commonly given up animals in animal shelters, due to a lot of misinformation and a lack of education about their needs.

“They are very complex emotional creatures and are not beginner friendly pets. We hope to provide both education and therapeutic experience to potential adopters and the general public about rabbits and the care of adoptable rabbits in a free environment designed specifically for young animals.”

Tasker also hopes to install a viewing window from the café in the animal area so that guests can experience rabbit-watching for free and without direct exposure to their dander.

Hop Along launched a file Kickstarter campaign To raise $20,000 for renovation projects and other costs. Ultimately, Tasker wants to expand to include space for other adoptable animals — including cats, hamsters and guinea pigs — and to offer educational opportunities to deal with situations such as finding a stray domestic rabbit or an injured hare.

Tasker, who grew up around animals in rural Venango County, says opening a place like this has always been a possibility.

“When I was a kid, I would constantly come home with lost or abandoned animals. My parents would often joke that I was going to have an animal sanctuary or a ranch.”


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