Michael loved his wife’s cats.
Brigitte loved her husband’s home-brewed beer.
A cat named Shadow accidentally sipped a Belarusian and became very bitter.
This is the story of the bitchin ‘kitten.
For 25 years, the Lower Makefield Crossons dreamed of opening a completely different type of drinking hole. They would name it in honor of Shadow.
Bitchin ‘Kitten opens in Morrisville in mid-October with a unique menu and an undoubtedly exuberant atmosphere.
Playful posters of cats swallowing beer adorn the walls, and the beer list includes beers like Twisted Whiskers, Boujee Cat, and Honest Abe’s Tabby.
The couple serves cocktails like Bloody Claw, Rum My Tummy, and Hemingway’s Porch Rocker. (Ernest Hemingway’s former home in Key West is home to about 60 six-toed cats.)
Bitchin ‘Kitten is located on East Bridge Street in Morrisville and offers typical bar fare – burgers, beer and cheese dips and the like.
But there are also “flights” of mini cupcakes and a tempeh seitan patty made from roasted lentils, chickpeas and ground seitan patty, salad and homemade mushroom jam.
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An unused audience
The menu and atmosphere are in part designed to cater to an undeveloped population, Michael said. The love of craft beers has expanded beyond the stereotypical, bearded 20-year-old man, he continued. More and more women are drinking craft beer and only a few beer houses appeal to this audience, he said.
“We really wanted to be something that stood out and had a name that rolled off the tongue,” said Michael.
Beer is commonly associated with men. However, women were some of the first brewers in human history, and some of the earliest known writings describe women brewing beer. Sumerian carvings depict women drinking beer through straws.
Industry research shows that women make up about 25% of the craft brew market. When it comes to trips to breweries, however, women tend to spend more money on food and drink than their male counterparts.
No cats allowed
The Crossons currently have six cats – Chicken, Eli, Furonica, Oliver, Phoebe and Tasha.
Much to their chagrin, health regulations prohibit actual live cats in a brewery. So don’t bring your cat.
That being said, the bitchin ‘kitten will raise money for local cat rescue. Beer cans are designed with QR codes. So you can scan the can on your smartphone for information about local cat adoptions.
Unlike other bars, the TVs at Bitchin ‘Kitten aren’t always set for sports. You could also see videos of cats put up for adoption at local animal shelters, Brigitte said.
“We will donate part of the proceeds to a local animal shelter or rescue service every quarter,” said Brigitte. “We don’t know the percentage right now. We’ll know after this quarter.”
When it opens, the bitchin ‘kitten will be a “fusion of our two passions,” continued Brigitte. The couple met in a bar and both work in project management.
“We met in this place called Outback Jacks that no longer exists,” said Michael. “Back then she was more into wine. Her family is from France, so they always brought these great wines with them. “
Shortly after moving in together, Michael started brewing himself. “We were in an apartment in Levittown and I got used to being with a cat who didn’t seem to like me.”
“When I met Michael in the 90s, I was probably drinking Coors Lite and he was allergic to cats,” Brigitte said. “Now that we’re almost opening our doors, it’s just so surreal.”
Right now, the biggest challenge for the bitchin ‘kitten is dealing with supply chain issues, Michael said. “Six to eight weeks in the supply chain can become four months, and you pay rent all the time.”
Contact reporter James McGinnis at firstname.lastname@example.org