Spending a day playing in a really neat backyard fort with new friends is a dream shared by many children. Spending a day relaxing with a good book and a cup of coffee or chatting with other grownups over a great lunch is a dream shared by many busy moms and dads. Megan King-Popp’s dream is to combine those two fantasies into one unique community space: the Urban Fort Cafe.
The mission of Urban Fort Cafe is to give families of children newborn through age 7 a place to play, learn and gather together. The centerpiece of the cafe would be an indoor tree fort, along with slides, climbing walls, train tables and playhouses.
“The tree fort itself is really being built with our little one's imagination in mind,” King-Popp said. “We believe that manufactured play spaces often forget to leave room for creativity, imagination, and ingenuity.”
As children play, parents would be able to dine at the cafe. A sample menu on the Urban Fort Cafe website includes a selection of coffee and espresso drinks, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and snacks for children.
“Our number one priority for Urban Fort is to attempt to ensure full visibility of the play area from our cafe. My goal as a mom of a 2-year-old is to be able to see Gideon wherever he is without ever having to get up from my chair, or interrupt my conversation with a friend,” King-Popp said. “For me, this would allow me to fully relax and enjoy.”
King-Popp and her business partner, Monica Croke, hope to open in late October at a newly leased space at 1854 Russell Ave., St. Louis, MO. The project has been in the works for about nine months, King-Popp says, and this week launched an Indiegogo campaign.Those who support the campaign will be eligible for several perks based on their level of support.
“Our perks were created to help excite people and to ensure that they know how much their support is appreciated,” King-Popp said.
King-Popp plans to offer a variety of classes for newborns, toddlers and preschool-aged children, giving them a space to explore music, art, science, dance, gymnastics, yoga and more.
“We hope to create a community gathering spot for young families that will help them make the decision to stay rooted in St. Louis City — making the choice to continue growing their families in the amazing, diverse city that we love so much.”