NEST Cafe Pay-What-You-Can Finds Permanent Location In Quad Cities
The traveling restaurant NEST has now found its new permanent home. The cafe's brick-and-mortar Rock Island location will serve healthy meals five days a week to those in need.
For the last two years, NEST Cafe has been serving healthy meals monthly to those in need through its pay-what-you-can establishment.
On April 14th, the cafe was finally able to welcome the community into their new permanent location, 1524 4th Ave. Rock Island, IL. NEST is continuing to provide affordable, nutrient-based meals to the community. They will serve lunch Sundays through Thursdays and dinner on Monday nights.
WQAD reported, "Founder and executive director Laura Mahn said she hopes the new building will help break the cycle of food insecurity and create more volunteer opportunities in the Quad Cities area."
Laura Mahn said, "It feels really good to have a place to be in one spot and be able to make it our own, and have a place where we know people can feel comfortable and feel like it can be their home."
Many people hear about NEST and think of it as a soup kitchen, but it is actually a Buffett-style restaurant with a different pay system. Guests are encouraged to pay a suggested amount for their plate, but any amount is welcome."You can donate less, you can donate more, it's whatever your finances allow you to donate," said Mahn. Those who can't pay for the meal are instead asked to donate time volunteering at the restaurant.
The menu goes through daily changes to highlight seasonal foods and produce from local vendors. The opening-day menu featured a candied walnut and red grape salad with citrus dressing, a mashed potato bowl with veggies and grilled chicken, and homemade rice crispy treat for dessert.
After two years of reoccurring pop-up locations, and setbacks, Mahn was extremely happy to finally obtain a permanent location. She hopes that her restaurant "can become a nest people of all backgrounds can flock to and find a home in, just like its namesake."
See more about NEST Cafe on their website nestcafeqc.org.
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