Restaurant News & Reviews

Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant is ready for business

After more than a year of searching for and building a home, A Place at the Table will open its doors Monday morning, becoming Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant.

The space at 300 W. Hargett St. has undergone a considerable facelift, trading the former Cafe de los Muertos’ Day of the Dead decor for warm yellow walls and a simple, clean design.

A Place at the Table puts its mission at the counter, inviting patrons to pay what they can afford: the suggested donation, a little extra, pay for someone else’s meal or pay one’s way through volunteering. Volunteer jobs could include sweeping, wiping tables and bringing food to guests.

The new coffee shop and lunch spot keeps the garage door window of its predecessor, which will open up to the sidewalk when the weather warms up, as well as the wooden bartop and two-story layout.

A Place at the Table has three waffle irons at the ready, including one for gluten-free dishes; a new espresso machine that will use Larry’s Beans coffee; and several cold brew coffee taps.

The restaurant passed its health inspection Friday afternoon and will open Jan. 8, serving waffles, grit bowls, pressed sandwiches, salads and coffee.

Hours on Monday and Tuesday will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Starting Wednesday, it will operate on its regular hours of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Maggie Kane, executive director of the organization, has said Monday begins a soft opening period and that a grand opening will be held in February.

Kane has said the aim is for the restaurant to completely support itself from its service. The organization was formed by Kane and received its nonprofit status in November 2015.

Signs hang in the restaurant acknowledging the businesses and individuals who helped fund the venture.

For more information, go to

Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson

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