In flash mobs, groups of people assemble, perform an unusual act for a short period of time, and then disperse. At one point, they seemed to be the new normal for the New Millennium. The phrase was coined in 2003, after technology paved the way for quick connection among thousands of strangers. But as the charm of coordinated dance routines wore off, something else, at least, remained: the allure of communities rapidly activated around a common cause.
That’s what twenty-five-year-old N.C. State graduate Maggie Kane hopes she can accomplish with a series of pop-up meals meant to drum up excitement—and raise a little money—for her new restaurant near her alma mater’s campus, A Place at the Table.
A Place at the Table is a nonprofit “pay-what-you-can” cafe
that will provide healthy food to everyone, regardless of means. Kane is following an existing model created by One World Everybody Eats
, a Utah-based foundation based that has inspired the formation of fifty-three other pay-what-you-can restaurants around the United States. The closest existing version is in Boone.
With the help of Leadership Raleigh, A Place at the Table’s first pop-up brunch will happen Saturday, April 2, at Solas on Glenwood Avenue, from eleven a.m. until two p.m.
“We’ll have long tables so people can sit together and get to know one another. I’m excited for the community to finally come together,” says Kane. “I hope we can show Raleigh what our mission is and prove the power of food and community.”
Kane plans to host pop-up meals at different locations every month throughout the summer until the restaurant, which is currently under construction at the corner of Horne and Hillsborough Streets, opens in the fall.
Food for the first installation will be provided by Carolina Ale House, Babylon, McDonald’s, and Chick-fil-A. The brunch, like everything at A Place at the Table, will be offered in a pay-what-you-can format.