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Black Cat Market says it’s still open without food service

November 5, 2018 GMT

A co-owner of The Black Cat Market in Lawrenceville said Friday that her shop is not completely closed and cat cuddling is still permitted.

Olivia Ciotoli told the Tribune-Review that Allegheny County health inspectors told her this week that she could not sell food out of the Butler Street shop. She said they did not have the correct permit in place to sell baked goods.

“We aren’t a health risk of any kind,” she said. “Our regular hours are still in place. Our cat room and event space remains open.”

The county posted on its website that The Black Cat Market was closed Wednesday for “operating without a valid health permit.”

But Ciotoli said the health inspector never told them they had to completely close. She said they are required to get their food service paperwork in order and install a mop sink.

“We can’t sell baked goods for the time being,” she said.

Health department officials confirmed Ciotoli can remain open with certain restrictions.

“The Black Cat Market is able to remain open; however, food cannot be served at this establishment until it obtains a valid permit and meets all requirements of a food facility,” said health department spokesman Ryan Scarpino

She said the shop would also not sell coffee until the matter is completely resolved.

The Black Cat Market opened Aug. 27. After signing a waiver, visitors can commune with the cats on a first come, first served basis as a sort of pet therapy.

Customers are charged $4 per 30 minutes to snuggle fostered felines.