What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Downtown Raleigh nonprofit cafe A Place At The Table opens back up

Posted July 16, 2020 1:42 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2020 2:22 p.m. EDT

A Place at the Table

— The Raleigh cafe A Place At The Table will open back up on July 22 after closing down for four weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The cafe is open for walk-up and phone-in ordering only.

The cafe is known for being a spot where customers "pay what they can." That means customers can:

  • pay what they can afford
  • pay a suggested donation
  • pay what they would typically pay, plus a donation
  • pay specifically for someone else’s full meal
  • pay by volunteering

A Place At The Table is located downtown Raleigh on West Hargett Street. Recently, it's expanded into the former Alli boutique space that was next door.

The nonprofit's pay-what-you-can approach for food and drink is based on a model by the One World Every Body Eats Foundation. There are more than 60 cafes operating with this approach.

During the pandemic, the business has been giving away 250 to 300 meals a day to community members in need.

"We have limited hours. We have a limited menu because we are serving an influx of people," Founder and Executive Director Maggie Kane said, noting that customers can either call ahead to place orders to walk up to the cafe and order a meal. The dining room remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally the cafe would have about 70 percent of people paying for their meals and/or paying it forward by buying a meal, and 30 percent of people volunteering for their meal. Now, about 80 percent of people are not paying for their meal and 20 percent are paying what they can.

Now, A Place At The Table has a full commercial kitchen and 50 more seats, a press release said.

"By visiting the cafe, you are paying it forward for people that can’t afford to eat, while getting a great, satisfying meal," a press release from the cafe read.

Andrew Gravens, chef at A Place At The Table, is now able make more meals with the bigger kitchen. Some breakfast items:

  • Graven’s famous biscuits and gravy
  • Avocado toast
  • Seasonal yogurt bowls
  • Build-your-own biscuit sandwich.

For lunch, some signature items include:

  • BBQ chicken sandwich
  • Buffalo chicken sandwich
  • Black bean melt

If you go in for a cup of coffee, expect to get special roast from the black-owned, local business Black & White Coffee Roasters that A Place At The Table is supporting.

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