“Pets welcome, humans tolerated!” is what a sign on the wall proudly proclaims. Welcome to Where Else, Pune’s first cafe where you can nip over for a cup of coffee with your furry buddies, of the four-legged variety. (Or two, really. Be it cats, hamsters or even humans — all pets are welcome at Where Else!)
The first thing that catches the eye as you step in are the two pampered Persian cats prowling around the room, noses in the air, ignoring all attempts of people to pet them and occasionally stopping to grace a person or two with their presence.
Boobie and Ballsy are the local celebrities of Viman Nagar and they sure act like it! With their very own wooden cottage, the two cats are treated exceptionally well and are adored by waiters and customers alike.
A shared passion for food and love for animals is what brought Ardesh, Sweta, Daizy and Amritha together to start this cafe in May 2015.
Where Else strives to serve wholesome, yummy food in large portions for cute furballs and their masters alike.
Having always been fond of animals, it wasn’t much of a stretch for the foursome to conceptualize a place that not only welcomed pets, but had a specially designed menu for them as well! You can pop into Where Else anytime you like and witness dogs, cats, rabbits and myriad other pets chilling over a bowl of broth, or some choostix. You would think having so many pets together in a place would be a recipe for disasters and pet-brawls, but you’d be wrong.
As Ardesh so succinctly puts it, “It’s about people, not pets.”
Most of the pets who come to Where Else are well behaved and there hasn’t been any incidence of pet-brawling.
Human-brawling, however, is a different matter altogether and Where Else has been in for their share of ugliness — what with animal activists being after them and customers objecting to the cats roaming about (The latter, however, has only happened once till date).
Most people applaud this initiative. Who wouldn’t? And indeed, Booby and Ballsy have become so popular all over Pune that they have people pouring in just to take pictures with them.
In fact, Ardesh narrated an incident about a young college student who didn’t want to order anything but had come in expressly for the purpose of Instagramming pictures with the two adorable Persian cats!
The staff loves being around Booby and Ballsy. Shout out to Prashant who seems to have a special bond with the cats; they even do what he tells them to. Adorable furballs aren’t the only nice things about Where Else.
The serving staff will greet you with a smile and make sure you have a wonderful experience.
Where Else has come up with a novel concept of feeding the hungry in Pune too. The Goodie Bag, one of their pet projects, is an initiative where you can add Rs. 20 to your bill and Where Else will donate an essential goodie bag to someone who needs it. The bag contains a boiled egg, a banana and a bottle of water.
If you wish to contribute to the initiative, you can get in touch here – firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Written by Aishwarya Jagani)