BY CARIE BEHOUNEK
Like many local restaurants, COVID-19 greatly impacted the way CAFE 180 in Englewood did business. Yet it also opened the nonprofit restaurant up to new possibilities.
Since 2010, CAFE 180 has served healthy, fresh lunches to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. With no set prices on the menu, people were encouraged to pay what they could for their house-made pizzas, soups, and sandwiches. Those who were unable to pay could volunteer for an hour in exchange for their meal.
When its doors closed because of COVID, the cafe began giving free boxed lunches to anyone experiencing food insecurity. Since then they’ve given away nearly 20,000 meals.
“We’re so grateful that we’ve been able to serve people who are food insecure during this really difficult time,” said Sarah Lesyinski, executive director. “COVID invited us to rethink how we feed people. Now we have a new lunch menu, plus an exciting new meal kit program, where those who pay can have delicious meals delivered to their door. Every time you buy a meal from us, we’re able to give free meals to our neighbors.”
Online Ordering and Curbside Pick Up Now Available for Lunch
Located at 3315 S. Broadway in Englewood, the cafe is open for curbside pick-up for lunch, Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. New manager, Dakota Hill, has years of restaurant experience. He’s created a new menu, keeping some familiar favorites like the turkey/bacon wrap and homemade pizzas. But he’s also expanded the menu to include new salads, sandwiches, and an assortment of grilled cheese sandwiches. Long-time CAFE 180 patron, Kenzie Burns, loves the new options.
“I recently tried the new chicken wrap,” said Burns. “The homemade whipped feta and blistered tomato spread made it fresh and bright, and I can’t wait to have it again.”
Order a Meal Kit for Home Delivery
Modeled after popular subscription services like Blue Apron, CAFE 180 @Home meal kits include all the fixings needed to make a great meal at home. The cafe first launched its meal kit program to a small community of families and has received tremendous feedback.
Mary is a single mom with two kids. When she lost her job due to COVID, she wasn’t sure how she’d put food on the table.
“CAFE 180 @Home meal kits have helped provide a healthy meal for me and my children. These meals have given me some peace and comfort knowing that I can give my kids a meal 2x a week especially through these unexpected times,” she said.
The meal kits have helped Cherie feed her three growing boys.
“It can be hard to find food they all like,” she said. “These weekly meals opened us up to different foods, tastes, and cooking processes. The diversity in the meals has opened our taste buds greatly.”
CAFE 180 is so thrilled to now offer these meal kits to the public. Anyone ordering a meal kit can enjoy experimenting with new flavors and foods, with the added knowledge that their orders allow us to give away more meals to more families who have been impacted by COVID.
For just $10/serving, delight your family with home-cooked dinners like Coconut Curry Chicken and Gnocchi with Spinach & Tomatoes. The menu changes weekly, and each order includes two complete meals with a protein, sides, and full instructions on how to prepare a delicious meal at home. Place a one-time order for delivery or subscribe to receive meal kits delivered weekly.
You can order lunch, meal kits, or catering from CAFE 180’s website, cafe180.org.