Located in Newcastle, Pudding Chare, Mog On The Tyne is a cat cafe that serves coffee and cakes surrounded by their resident cats that have all been rescued and now live in the cafe full time. The cafe was opened in August 2015 by Katie Jane Glazier, however Katie has now passed on her ownership to manager, Lara McNeil. The cafe offers a unique environment for its visitors who are able to play with the 11 cats whilst enjoying a coffee or some lunch.
Sadly, due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and in such an unprecedented time for businesses across the country, the owners of Mog On The Tyne felt that they would have to close their business down permanently and therefore find homes for all their live in cats.
Lara McNeil told us that the experience was, “utterly heartbreaking.” She said that, “We are all like a family with the staff and with our regulars too.” The cafe owners believed they were unable to open due to the guidelines surrounding social distancing and financing and so their cats were sent to foster homes. The closing was announced via the cafe’s Facebook page whereby the then owner, Katie, stated that, “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to have to announce that we must close our little cafe. Mog is so much mire than a business, it is a community for like minded cat folk, a safe and happy place filled with joy, love and laughter for so many. We have worked so hard over the last 6 years and loved every minute, but sadly, uncertainty with the future due to Covid-19 and our lease coming to an end, we just aren’t in a position to fight.”
However, due to their supportive regulars within the community, two crowd-funding pages were set up by Peter Cornish and Neve Francis who in total raised over £14,000 for the beloved cat cafe. Lara told us that they were, “overwhelmed by the support, it’s been an absolute emotional rollercoaster going from closing to then being saved by our regulars, it’s been amazing and we are so grateful. We are blown away by the support as the Go Fund Me pages were set up the same night that we announced the closing”
On the Facebook announcement to the reopening they said that, “We have some long awaited news, Mog on the Tyne WILL be reopening! It’s thanks to you lovely lot that we can say this, you’ve all made such a huge impact on our hearts and we honestly can’t thank you enough.” Their announcement on Facebook was flooded with comments of those who were glad to hear the reopening news, stating that they were excited to come back to the cafe and see the cats when an opening date is announced. One commenter said, “Oh my gosh what a relief!!! We will be sure to support you even more on your new adventure!” And another saying , “Excellent news! This is what happens when people come together to support what they love.”
Mog On The Tyne received their government grant which kept them a float with the rent for the first three months. Lara told us that they are hoping to get a reopening date for the end of July but they have to put some measures in place to protect the public and the staff, “we have the one metre distancing in place and all of our slot bookings are 10 minutes apart in order to ensure we have time to clean everything down.We also have hand sanitiser available on the tables for public use”
Before the pandemic, 11 cats lived in at the cafe, however they are now down to six as five
of them have settled in well with their foster
families. Lara said these cats “have really came out of their shell so those ones are going to stay with their foster families. We are
looking to rescue a few more cats to come live in our cafe” Lara would like to
say a big thank you to all of Mog On The Tyne’s loyal customers for their continued support, “without all of you, we would not be able to reopen, so thank you so much”
As of July 21st 2020, Mog On The Tyne has reopened to the public. Visitors can book a slot via their website.
You can contact Mog On The Tyne through the following links:
Location: 24 Pudding Chare, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1UE