Raleigh’s only pay-what-you-can restaurant turns four

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Throwback when we Maggie and crew were serving the community curbside | Photo by @tableraleigh ⁠ ⁠

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A Place at the Table turns four tomorrow, Jan. 8

Raleigh’s only pay-what-you-can restaurant — located at 300 W. Hargett St. — was opened in 2018 by NC State alum Maggie Kane. The restaurant’s menu features suggested pricing or patrons can simply exchange an hour of volunteer time for their meal + over 80 people volunteer for their meal every day. You can also purchase meal tokens for $10 if you want to pay it forward and cover the cost of someone’s meal.

We sat down with Maggie and asked her a few questions about what A Place at the Table’s fourth anniversary means to her. Here’s what she had to say:

What does four years of A Place at the Table mean to you?

A lotta love and waffles. Ha! Truthfully, it is unbelievable it’s been four years. This community is the best and the reason Table is what it is today. From folks who choose to dine with us, donate, and volunteer, everyone has rallied around the cafe and makes it happen every day. I feel honored to be a part of it.

What’s changed since year one?

We have doubled in size and doubled in coolness. I remember back in early 2018, I was chopping pineapples at 5 a.m. and spending late work nights with the team fixing up the place. I absolutely spent the night in the cafe a time or two. Four years later, our team has grown with some of the most amazing humans on staff, rockstar volunteers, and nonprofit partners. We even built a commercial kitchen and are now able to provide so many more meals to folks in this community.

What are you looking forward to this year?

The really awesome humans we get to meet this year! Everyday we get to sit down with folks that have the greatest stories and be a part of their lives.

Is there anything for people to know about the birthday celebrations on Saturday?

Besides cake, hugs, and chances to win swag, we’ll have a dance crew joining mid day. In all seriousness, it’ll be a fun celebration.

To date, the nonprofit has served 35,238 to community members, $62,000 in donated meals + 4,681 meals paid forward.

Make sure you stop in tomorrow, Jan. 8 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Want to get to know Maggie a little better? Check out our Q+A with her. She loves peanut butter, is obsessed with tattoos, and has a twin sister.

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