CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council has cleared the way for a so-called “Cat Café” to open in the West Ridge neighborhood, as part of a new animal shelter.

Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) said the permit for the Tree House Humane Society shelter at 7225 N. Western Av. would allow the facility to include a coffee house to help bring in people who might adopt pets.

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“The food preparation is going to be in a totally separate room, but the adopters can take their coffee and go into an observation room, and sit and have their coffee and look at new perspective animals,” she said.

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It would be the city’s first cat café, but the idea sprung up elsewhere.

“This is an idea that’s been popping up through other cities in the United States and overseas. There are some in Oakland, there’s some in San Francisco, there’s some in New York,” Silverstein said.

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The ordinance for cat cafés allows only humane societies to obtain the permits, with strict sanitary guidelines. The measure bans alcohol; and no food can be served, only non-alcoholic drinks. Only service animals would be allowed inside the cafés.