Raleigh 'pay-what-you-can' restaurant founder surprised with spa day and holiday decorations

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Maggie Kane is recovering from the surprise of a lifetime that played out on national network television Monday.

ABC's Good Morning America celebrated Maggie's success in creating A Place at the Table, a first-of-its-kind restaurant in downtown Raleigh.

Maggie used her experience helping homeless people to create a "pay what you can" restaurant, where homeless people, business executives, and others from across the Triangle share meals together.

"If you had asked me four years ago if this café would work, no way would I have said 'yes,'" Kane told ABC11. "It's incredible. This community has made this possible. This community has loved on this place so much."

Maggie was prepared for the GMA team to profile the restaurant, but she had no idea they wanted to surprise her with a well-deserved break away from the cafe.

"My feet buckled," Kane told ABC11. "I thought I couldn't feel the floor anymore, and then cried like a baby."

Lorena Luca in Cameron Village treated Maggie to a spa day that included a massage, facial and makeover.

"It was incredible," Kane said. "I don't get massages ever and I remember thinking a couple weeks ago, 'I need to get a massage, my back started to hurt,' so it was awesome."

While Maggie was at the spa, her friends, cafe volunteers and a team from TeleFlora decorated the restaurant for the holidays.

They put up wreaths, garland and Christmas trees.

"The café looks amazing and incredible," Kane said. "We're really, really, lucky."

While celebrating Maggie, GMA also spread the word about her cafe.

Every day about 50 people volunteer in the restaurant in exchange for a meal, others pay what they can, and many pay it forward, covering the cost for people who can't afford to eat.

"Every day I see these relationships forming and people meeting and people loving on each other and hugs and smiles all day every day," said Kane. "I sit back and thank God that I'm a part of it. I feel so fortunate to be a part of it every day."

Maggie is looking ahead to an exciting year in 2020.

A Place at the Table is expanding and will have a full commercial kitchen and more seating at the cafe located at 300 W. Hargett St. in Raleigh.
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