New Moon Café’s first “Pay What You Can” day coming Wednesday

By Molly Gilmore on June 27, 2011


Olympia's New Moon Cafe is known for its breakfasts, its squirt bottles of blackberry jam and the blank books on the tables that inspire writing, drawing and games of tic-tac-toe.

Wednesday, the cafe has something new on its menu - a monthly pay what you can day.

"For people who are making a choice between paying rent and paying for food or paying for medication and paying for food, going out to eat just isn't an option," says Dylan Elkhart, who's owned the restaurant since 2007. "It adds to the stress if all of your friends are going out to eat and you have to sit there and not eat or you have to miss out on that opportunity to spend time with your friends.

"I want to make going out for breakfast not be one of the stresses that people have to worry about for that day."

But the customers who'll get a chance to dine out affordably aren't the only ones who'll benefit from the event. Elkhart plans to donate the day's full profits to a different non-profit organization each month.

First up is Conchetta House (, which subsidizes housing for single parents working on completing their college degrees.

Conchetta House founder Sandy Kozlowski has long been a regular at New Moon. There's even a dish named after her on the menu.

"There are so many people who give by supporting local businesses," Elkhart says. "People are interconnected. Without that support, we wouldn't last very long."

The day will feature a special menu with a breakfast focus (the restaurant serves breakfast and lunch), and seating will be different, too, with diners sharing tables so that as many people as possible can be served.

"We are a very small restaurant," he says. "I'm a little worried that we are going to get overwhelmed. I don't want people to get all excited about it and then not be able to serve them either because we run out of food or because we run out of time."

He's hoping to get other restaurants to offer pay what you can days, too, whether they give away the profits or keep them.

"There are a lot of hungry people out there, and I know I can't feed them all - especially not in one day."

New Moon Cafe's Pay What You Can Day

Wednesday, June 29, and the last Wednesday of each month, 7 a.m.-2:30 pm. (last seating at 2:15 p.m.)

New Moon Cafe, 113 Fourth Ave. S.W., Olympia