Volunteer removes prices from menu

Customers name their price at restaurant

DENVER - There is something missing at Cafe 180 in Englewood. There are no prices.

"Instead of set prices, we ask them to make a donation. So, some people choose to donate their time and other people choose to donate financially," said Cafe 180 co-founder Cathy Matthews.

Matthews used to sell organic pizza dough. Now she is in the business of feeding everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

"If you only have a dollar, that's fine, but we are going to ask you to roll some silverware while you wait for your meal to come because we're serving up a plate of food that is valued at $7 to $8 at another restaurant," said Matthews.

Matthews got the idea from 2010 7Everyday Heroes Brad and Libby Birkey. They run SAME Cafe in Denver, another "pay what you can restaurant" that helps feed the hungry and connect the community.

"Some are single moms, some are unemployed, some are underemployed, homeless, suburban moms, businessmen, businesswomen," said Matthews.

Only a few workers at Cafe 180 are paid.

"I think I took this job purely for the people and the concept. You get people in all stages of life here, and I love to hear their stories," said Matthews.

Cafe 180 has more than 100 volunteers.

"It is not something I have to do, but I get to do it," said Bob, who lives just down the street.

Other workers are homeless, like Ellie Mae. She loves working at Cafe 180. She helps Matthews in the kitchen in return for a nutritious meal.

"I do whatever she asks me to do. I feel at home here," said Ellie Mae.

So, next time you are in Englewood, check out Cafe 180. It is on Broadway, just north of Hampden Avenue. It dishes up great food and good karma.

"I invite anybody who's looking to do something good and get involved and get out of themselves a little bit and do something for somebody else - come down here and put in a few hours here. It's good. It's good people here too. It's real good people," said Bob.

To learn more about Cafe 180 go to http://www.cafe-180.org/.

Print this article Back to Top