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Panera-run pay-what-you-want restaurant closes in Clayton

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) _ The St. Louis Bread Co. Cares Community Cafe in Clayton, Missouri, where patrons pay as much or little as they want for a meal, is closing its doors.

St. Louis Bread Co. is part of Panera. Founder and executive chairman Ron Shaich told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the restaurant is closing Tuesday because it was on a month-to-month lease and the store required a big investment.

The cafe opened in 2010 in an already-existing St. Louis Bread Co. restaurant. The idea was that people who could afford to pay the suggested price or more would do so, subsidizing those who could pay just a portion or none at all.

Customers paid, on average, about 85 percent of the suggested price. Shaich says that proves people are ``fundamentally good.''
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch