‘Pay What You Can’ Restaurant Opens Doors In New Kensington

NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) — The Knead Community Cafe in New Kensington has opened its doors for the first time since renovations began in the old building eight months ago.

Co-owner Mary Bode says customers pay what they can.

“If you want to pay a little bit more, you’re paying it forward so a neighbor can eat. And if you can’t afford that, you pay what’s comfortable with what you have in your pocket. And if you have nothing to pay, we ask that you volunteer an hour for your meal.”

Open for lunch on weekdays, they serve a rotating menu of two sandwiches, two soups, and two salads. Recycling is emphasized at the Knead Cafe. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a long table, built of reclaimed wood from a 1910 barn in Murrysville. On the ceiling above the table is a wooden pallet, holding several lights.

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“We collected a lot of vases with the decanters,” Bode says. “And we made a chandelier out of it.”

The counter is made of old doors, newly painted.

Co-owner Kevin Bode says there are sixty pay what you can restaurants in America, but none quite like this.

“We want to make a statement and invest in the community, and show the town we believe in the town, and do something really special,” he explains.

His wife agrees.

“People really do care about their community, and they want to see it thrive again,” she said.

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