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Englewood Cafe Has ‘Pay What You Can’ Philosophy

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Cafe 180 on South Broadway in Englewood (credit: CBS)

Cafe 180 on South Broadway in Englewood (credit: CBS)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Eat what you want, pay what you can. That’s the idea behind a small cafe in Englewood created to fight hunger. On Thursday the battle continues with a free Thanksgiving meal.

During lunch the tables start to fill at Cafe 180 in Englewood with regulars like Alex Whitaker and occasionals like Kim Smith and her family.

Whitaker is homeless and a struggling alcoholic. The Smiths live comfortably in Highlands Ranch. But in Cafe 180, there is no prejudice.

“You know everybody’s equal in here,” Smith said.

All come in for the fabulous food, but it’s lunch with a little latitude.

“We feed everyone regardless of their ability to pay,” Cafe 180 founder Cathy Matthews said.

Patrons eat what they want and pay what they can. Or they’re like Whitaker; they eat for free and volunteer an hour.

“This place is — it’s a blessing,” Whitaker said.

It’s a “pay it forward” philosophy.

The founders, including Matthews, want to fight hunger and feed appetites for community.

“They’re like family to me,” Mathew said.

The usual menu is salad, soup and sandwiches. On Thanksgiving it will be turkey and all the trimmings. A feast thanks to Footers Catering. Dinner will be from noon to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Cafe 180 is always open to donations and volunteers. It’s located 3315 South Broadway in Englewood.

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