One Bistro, a non-profit community cafe that uses a pay what you can afford concept, has started construction on a new restaurant in downtown Xenia.

‘Pay what you can’ restaurant to open in Xenia

The non-profit cafe allows people to pay what they can afford.

The restaurant will be located in an existing building on Main Street near Whiteman Street.

Construction will be funded through a City of Xenia community development block grant and matching downtown Xenia design funds, as well as a donation from the charitable organization 100 Women Making a Difference in Greene County. Toward Independence — an organization that helps people with developmental disabilities — owns the building, and is contributing to the renovation.

“This kind of volume on a food truck is very challenging on a weekly basis,” said Robert Adamson, the One Bistro founder, director and executive chef. “So having a 30-by-90 square-foot kitchen compared to a small food truck is going to make our volume better, our ticket times better, our service quality — all those things people are looking for in a dining experience — much better.”

The Xenia restaurant, which is expected to have a grand opening in September, will mark One Bistro’s second location in the Miami Valley. Their first restaurant is located on South Second Street in Miamisburg.

Adamson described the restaurant as a hybrid between a soup kitchen and a full-service upscale restaurant. The bistro changes the menu three times a year and serves a variety of items including gourmet pizzas and burgers, high-end salads and seasonal options, he said.

“Our mission is to provide a place where everybody comes together as one community,” he said. “Nobody is singled out based on anything; lifestyle, economic status, race. All those components that sometimes separate us as a community, we want to break down those barriers and have everybody come together as one community.”

The bistro offers four payment options. Customers can pay what they can afford to pay or give their time and service to pay for their meal or someone else’s meal. They also have the option to pay the full suggested meal price or pay the full price and a little extra to “pay it forward.”

Meals at the restaurant are served by volunteers and Toward Independence clients.

“One Bistro is a place that can become the community living room or the community kitchen where people can come and enjoy great food, great company and beautiful places … our downtown Xenia,” said Mary Crockett, the City of Xenia community development and downtown coordinator. “We’re so excited in the City of Xenia to have more people, feet on the street, people coming and being a part of our beautiful town.”