BLANCHESTER — Pay what you can at a new village eatery.
Blanchester Downtown Diner and Gifts, located at 107 E. Main St., held its grand opening on Monday with owner Breya Hodge having one main goal for the business — to help local residents.
“I always wanted to reach out more. I always wanted help people,” said Hodge.
This year, Hodge also opened another store called Breya’s Old Fashion Pantry on South Broadway Street in Blanchester, which is now next to the diner. With the Pantry, she felt she wasn’t helping locals enough.
“It’s kind of hard to help people with jams and jellies,” she said. “All I’m helping with at that point is getting diabetes.”
While the diner will feature a lot of food one would expect, including sandwiches and salads, she’s also working with local farmers to provide fresh produce in the diner.
But no matter what’s ordered, the eatery is allowing citizens to either pay what they can, or pay what they think they should.
“Even if they can’t pay, I at least, know they ate that day,” she said. “Something that one person can only pay a dollar for, somebody else is going to pay $50 for it. So, it’ll cover what they can’t pay.”
The main influence when it came to aesthetics for the eatery is the TV show “Happy Days.” So much so that she hopes to get a jukebox installed.
While she knows that going into a donation-only diner can be a bit stressful, she doesn’t want people to worry.
“My mom was a single mom of four. So, we didn’t get to go out to eat,” she said.
“I don’t want to know that another single mom or homeless person, or anybody, didn’t eat that day because they couldn’t afford it.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574