Pay-what-you-can Denver restaurants, yoga and theater – The Know

Posted: December 30, 2019 at 8:47 pm


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Norine Knight, left, Neil Chesshir and Christine Price eat lunch on the covered patio at Cafe 180, a non-profit, pay-what-you-can restaurant in Englewood Aug. 25, 2016. (Seth McConnell, The Denver Post)

Life in the city can get expensive, and sometimes people cant afford a little self-care or a fun night out. Fortunately, a growing number of businesses and organizations in Denver and other cities on the Front Range use a pay-what-you-can model so there can be some equity in services and experiences.

We believe it is important for all people to have access to good food, physical and mental well-being and community, said Catherine Clements-Matthews, founder and president of One Good Turn, a non-profit with four different initiatives helping people find housing, jobs, counseling and meals. Caf 180 in Englewood was One Good Turns first enterprise; there, diners who cannot afford a meal can exchange one hour of work.

The pay-what-you-can model allows all walks of life to enter into our spaces and experience something in exchange for their time or in exchange for what they can afford,Clements-Matthews said. It breaks down barriers that typically exist within traditional payment models.

In a given week, about 250 to 300 people dine at Caf 180, and 35% of those are volunteering their time in exchange for a meal.When people volunteer at Caf 180, they can also exchange their time for an hour of professional counseling (the counselors are, in turn, volunteering their time). This program is called Counseling 180.

Clements-Matthews sees the pay-what-you-can model as different than a typical charity.

I started One Good Turn because I wanted to offer a hand up to those in need, she said. Traditionally, charity is focused on those who have giving to those who dont. But I believe that everyone has something to offer. I wanted to create opportunities for dignified exchanges.

Next time youre in a financial pinch or are looking for a socially-conscious business where you can pay it forward check out one of these local organizations.

Caf 180 3315 S. Broadway, Englewood,cafe180.org The restaurant is also available as a special events space, with a rate starting at $200 per hour. The lunch-only menu includes a variety of salads, sandwiches, soup, wraps, pizza and cookies.

SAME Caf 2023 E. Colfax Ave., Denver,soallmayeat.org Denvers first pay-what-you-can restaurant which also has a food truck you may have spotted around town opened in 2006 and is lunch-only. The menu, focused on healthy fare, offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options in salads, soups and sandwiches.

FoCo Caf 225 Maple St., Fort Collins, fococafe.org Also open only for lunch, the Fort Collins restaurant posts a menu on Facebook daily so visitors can learn about that days soup, salad and dessert options. Like similar concepts, FoCo allows visitors to volunteer their time in exchange for meals and also encourages those with plenty to give more as a way to pay it forward.

Shyft at Mile High 1401 Zuni St., Denver, shyftatmilehigh.org An offshoot of One Good Turn, Shyft at Mile High offers meditation and yoga classes. Classes include guided meditation, yoga for people with eating disorders and the LGBTQ+ population, and Guided By Humanity private classes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The studio is currently pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $10 per class.In 2020, Shyft will alter its pricing model to allow paying customers to pay it forward for those who cant afford classes. Those who are unable to pay will never be turned away.

Kindness Yoga Multiple locations in Denver, Aurora and Golden,kindnesscollective.com At Kindness Yoga, all regularly-scheduled adult classes are considered donation-based, but those who can afford to pay are encouraged to do so the teachers and rent need to be paid, after all. There are introductory specials such as $30 for the first 30 days of classes, monthly memberships and bulk class discounts.

Whole Yoga 1735 E. 17th Ave., Denver, wholeyoga.com Students are invited to speak with the owner about creating an individual pay-what-you-can plan so that everyone can take yoga classes, regardless of income.

Yoga Hive 917 Front St., Louisville,yogahivecolorado.com This yoga studio offers aerial yoga and a pay-it-forward program in which prospective students apply for financial assistance. The studio also offers deals such as $33 for 14 days of unlimited yoga.

Cambio Yoga 3326 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., Colorado Springs,cambioyoga.com While donations of $9-15 per class are accepted, this donation-based yoga studio has a give-what-you-can policy for all classes, as well as monthly memberships on a sliding scale.

Buntport Theater 717 Lipan St., Denver,buntport.comDenvers Buntport Theater in the Santa Fe Arts District offers pay-what-you-can nights during the runs of each full-length production. The next pay-what-you-can nights for their forthcoming as-yet-untitled production will be held March 19 and 30. While that seems like a long time to wait, Buntports offers one-off, inexpensive shows that range in price from $0 to 10.

It has always been part of our mission statement to be affordable, said Erin Rollman, a member of Buntports collaborative company. The performing arts are, unfortunately, out of reach for a lot of people. Over our history, our pay-what-you-can nights have always been well attended, so its always seemed like were meeting a need.

Curious Theatre Company 1080 Acoma St., Denver,curioustheatre.org In Denvers Golden Triangle neighborhood, Curious Theatre has a program that allows volunteer ushers to receive complimentary admittance to a show after completing two shifts during a single production.

Dangerous Theatre 2620 W. 2nd Ave., Denver,dangeroustheatre.com This small, cabaret-style space produces original plays and comedies and offers pay-what-you-can non-table seating at every show. The companys current production, Nicks Last Christmas, runs through Dec. 29.

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December 30th, 2019 at 8:47 pm

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