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A Place at the Table is expanding, but you’ll still know where to find it

Maggie Kane is the News & Observer’s Tar Heel of the Month

Maggie Kane works to fight hunger and the stigma of homelessness with her pay-what-you-can cafe A Place at the Table in downtown Raleigh
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Maggie Kane works to fight hunger and the stigma of homelessness with her pay-what-you-can cafe A Place at the Table in downtown Raleigh

Nonprofit restaurant A Place at the Table is about to double in size, potentially doubling its impact on the community.

The pay-what-you-can restaurant at 300 W. Hargett St., is just over a year old, but it announced plans Monday to add more seating, a new kitchen and an events space by moving into the former Alli boutique space next door.

“We are humbled by how generous Raleigh has been – first in helping us to open in 2018, and since, through grants, daily volunteer shifts and simply by making [A Place at the Table] your destination for breakfast and lunch,” founder Maggie Kane said in a news release Monday.

“We’re grateful they’re playing a part in helping us to achieve our goal to make sure everyone in this community has a place at the table,” she said.

A Place at the Table opened in January 2018, serving breakfast and lunch six days a week. Kane told The News & Observer that the new work is expected to wrap up by August, bringing the total seating to around 65.

The model allows diners to pay the full price, pay as little as half if needed, pay it forward, or pay for a meal with an hour of volunteer work in the restaurant. So far, 9,000 meals have been given away to people in need.

Kane was The News & Observer’s January Tar Heel of the Month. Then, she told the N&O that she often is asked about adding locations of the restaurant around the Triangle and beyond. The doubling on Hargett Street may be the closest to that sort of an expansion, extending A Place at the Table into the neighboring space and growing the restaurant’s footprint. There will be additional indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a more professional kitchen.

Maggie Kane, executive director of A Place at the Table, describes how the nonprofit has found a permanent home in the former Cafe de los Muertos in downtown Raleigh. The new cafe will open in Fall 2017 and will let people pay or volunteer for the

In its first year, A Place at the Table, made breakfast and lunch with a waffle maker, a sandwich press and an oven. An expanded kitchen will allow more freedom on the menu and enable the restaurant to realize “the full potential of how A Place at the Table can serve the Raleigh community,” Kane said in the release.

The restaurant said the expansion will cost around $100,000. About 75% of that amount already has been donated by the non-profit’s corporate partners. A Place at the Table is also adding a restaurant advisory board, with its longtime restaurant adviser Sean Degnan of Bu.ku and So.ca, who is chair of the cafe’s Board of Directors, and acclaimed Raleigh chef Scott Crawford of Crawford & Son.

“We see ourselves as a restaurant contributing to Raleigh’s thriving food scene as much as a destination for those who are food-insecure,” said Kane in a release.

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.

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