Java Cats Cafe was almost called Catlanta Cafe.
Owner Hadyn Hilton thought she’d coined the merging of feline and city, but was soon told otherwise by fans of Catlanta, the alias of popular Atlanta artist Rory Hawkins.
The two discussed the dilemma, and Hilton decided not to pursue the name. Instead, she held a contest that allowed the community to pick the name.
But just a few months after opening, Hilton has found a way to bring the Catlanta name into her business after all.
The owner and artist partnered to sell Hawkins’ cat-themed prints in the cafe, Hilton announced on Facebook Wednesday.
Hawkins said he’s excited to have work at Atlanta's first cat cafe.
“I actually worked at Paws Atlanta as an animal care specialist while I was in college, so I'm very happy to team up with a business that is helping them adopt so many cats,” Hawkins said in an email.
The partnership is good for people who want to get their hands on Catlanta art, as most of it is distributed at whim through “Free Art Friday,” an ongoing art scavenger hunt driven through the Instagram hashtag #fafatl.
After a portion of I-85 caught fire and collapsed earlier this year, Hawkins created a lighthearted piece of wooden art depicting a smiling cat acting as a bridge on the highway, allowing cars to make it safely across the gap. He then “dropped” the work somewhere in the city.
Hawkins then sold shirts emblazoned with that image and the words, “Hang in there, Catlanta.” He donated 20 percent of the proceeds to Santa Fe Villas, a redeveloped apartment complex that provides permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
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