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Cats and Dogs Coffeehouse 

A new hang-out at Penn and Main welcomes all comers

Naming your coffee shop after two animal species with a mythically fractious relationship would seem, at first, like a bad omen for a partnership. 

But when Nixi Chesnavich (a.k.a. "Mr. Cat") and his romantic/business partner decided to open the Lawrenceville venue, it was only natural to name it after their longtime nicknames. 

But Cats and Dogs is "very friendly," says "Mr. Dog," who declined to share his human name.  

The Penn Avenue storefront, which opened in August, sits just below the Main Street intersection, a short distance from Children's Hospital, where Mr. Cat works as an operating-room nurse. Mr. Dog says one reason for opening the coffeehouse was as a relaxing" side project for Mr. Cat, but primarily the pair wanted to provide a welcoming community space.

To that end, there's a rear-room meeting space (free for the asking). Patrons can also hang out in the bright, airy front room. A bookshelf holds leave-and-take books and vintage magazines; a huge picture window offers people-watching. There's free wi-fi for the lap-toppers.

Currently, Cats and Dogs offers assorted coffee drinks (with beans from Commonplace Coffee in Indiana, Pa.), more than a dozen teas from Octavia Tea Company, and snacks. In the future, Mr. Dog says, they hope to add more food service. Until then, Cats and Dogs is a great place to stretch out and take it easy -- the way most real cats and dogs seem to spend their days. 

Open Mon.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 4059 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville. 412-621-1547

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