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Pay-what-you-can restaurant coming to the Quad Cities

NEST Cafe will offer nutritious, quality meals. Customers won't have to worry about whether or not they can afford them.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — A first of its kind restaurant is coming to the Quad Cities. NEST Cafe will serve up nutritious, quality meals at a price everyone can afford.

NEST stands for Nourish Everyone Sustainably Together and is part of the One World Everybody Eats Network, which is made up of restaurants that let people pay what they can for a meal or work in the restaurant to cover it.

Founder of NEST Cafe Laura Mahn says they haven't nailed down a location for this Quad Cities restaurant but it'll open spring 2021.

"We just want to make sure everyone has access to really good food, no matter what their means," she says.

And they're doing that even before the restaurant opens. Monday, June 22, NEST is partnering with Cushman Food and Engine food truck to serve up dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. They'll be at St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island serving up chicken, rice and vegetables.

"You can pay the suggested donation. If you want to pay it forward a little bit, help somebody else get a meal," Mahn says.

The suggested donation is $8 per meal.

Once the restaurant opens, those who are down on their luck or can't afford a meal can work in the kitchen or as a server to cover their meal. Mahn says it's a successful system that blurs the lines between employees and those who are looking for a hand-up.

There are 60 other pay-what-you-can restaurants throughout the country. The closest one a part of the One World network is in Rochelle, Illinois.

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