Alexandria, VA

In a rare bright spot of 2020, the highly-anticipated Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar (109 S. Alfred Street) announced on social media that progress is continuing slowly but surely.

“Construction at Mount Purrnon is currently ongoing and it’s starting to look great,” owners Kristin and Adam said in a Facebook post. “The work crew is small (but very talented) and all available health precautions are being taken.”

The business received approval of a special use permit from the City Council in February, almost immediately before the pandemic hit. The pair said the business is still looking to open sometime mid-summer.

“We still don’t have a firm opening date yet…that will depend on when construction ends, when all the final inspections can be done, as well as what phase of re-opening Northern Virginia is in at that point,” the Cat Cafe said. “We are also working with our vendors and our partner shelter on the best way to move forward, as they were affected as well. We are still aiming for mid-summer.”

The pair also opened up about some of the challenges of trying to open a business in the middle of a pandemic.

“Opening a business usually takes longer than one expects and then some,” Kristin and Adam said. “Then 2020 dropped and really turned the dial up to 11. There are bound to be a few more hurdles along the way both for us and the world, (we haven’t even hit the locust phase yet), but we’re actually, finally approaching the finish line. We greatly thank you for your ongoing patience and support as well.”

They said that the business is still paying rent on the building even though they haven’t been able to open and therefore don’t qualify for any disaster relief programs. Even local programs, like the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership’s grant program, requires businesses to have been open for at least a year to qualify. Mount Purrnon is accepting donations to help cover those costs on the company website.

“As terrible and bizarre as this year has been so far, we hope Mount Purrnon will bring some joy to Alexandria and the greater DMV for the second half of the year and beyond,” Kristin and Adam said. “Stay safe, stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you soon over a few meow-mosas.”

Photo via Mount Purrnon/Facebook

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