PETERSBURG — A bar cat serves as inspiration for a new restaurant. Restaurateur Kathleen “Kat” McCay’s goal is to open Loco Kitty by the end of the summer in the former DJ’s Java Joint in Petersburg.
Old Towne’s Alibi, McCay’s first restaurant, is conveniently located next door.
“I’m thrilled to bring our love of street food tacos and margaritas to Old Towne,” McCay said. “It’s a little seed that’s been floating around in our heads for a long time.”
McCay and her fiancé Scott Stanley, director of Old Towne’s Alibi service, are thrilled to have the opportunity to see their idea come to life.
Everyone always asks McCay, “Why Old Towne?”
“We love Old Town. We love our great neighboring businesses, the beautiful vibes and the Petersburg community as a whole,” McCay said. “The community is very good to us and it allows us to give back and put so much good into the community.”
In September, Stanley introduced McCay to the 10-inch ceramic cat. She loves it and proudly displays it on the bar at the Alibi in Old Towne ever since. However, McCay’s cat has been known to slither outside and prowl around a bit.
“It spawned a lot of conversations throughout the fall. Crazy conversations and serious conversations,” McCay posted on Facebook. “Between my love of Margs and his love of street corn, we started to chart a course.”
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At the end of 2021, Loco Kitty was born. In January, McCay, Stanley and the Alibi team of Old Towne started playing street tacos for feedback and for fun.
“Many months of menu item development and behind-the-scenes work paved the way to making Loco Kitty a reality,” said McCay.
Tacos, chicharrones, Mexican street corn and carnitas are some of the menu items at Loco Kitty.
The tropical carnitas will be served with house salsa, pineapple-mango, house pork, avocado and fresco cheese.
According to McCay, the loco polo made with corn tortillas, chipotle chicken, fresco cheese, shredded lettuce, homemade pico and homemade cream quickly became a staff favorite at Old Towne’s Alibi.
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Vegan and gluten-free
“Dinners will have the option of ordering tacos with flour or corn tortillas,” McCay said. “All of our options served on corn tortillas are gluten-free as well as our nachos and salads.”
Loco Kitty’s vegan tacos will be made with chipotle seasoned cauliflower, homemade pico, black beans, fresh avocado and your choice of tortillas.
Three desserts on the menu will be prepared by Lisa Maitland-Saunders, owner of Crumbs Gourmet Cheesecakes & Sweets.
“We tasted and confirmed that Lisa’s Homemade Three-Layer Key Lime Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is incredibly delicious,” McCay said.
DJ’s Java Joint served its last cup of coffee on March 13. McCay and Stanley are working diligently to create a fun and funky space and hope to open the doors to Loco Kitty in August.
McCay’s collection of ceramic cats is growing. Parasites keep popping up and she loves every one of them.
Follow the Loco Kitty journey on Facebook @locokittypetersburg. Follow maybe get lucky and win a special invite to McCay’s soft opening at 307 N. Sycamore Street in Old Town Petersburg.
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– Kristi K. Higgins, aka The Social Butterfly columnist, is the food news and Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index. Do you have a current tip on local trends or businesses? Contact Kristi (her, her) at [email protected], follow @KHiggins_PI on Twitter @socialbutterflykristi on Instagram and follow progress-index.com.