Popular Cleveland restaurant goes cashless in effort to protect employees & customers

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CLEVELAND (WJW) -- After opening a new location, a well-known Cleveland soul food restaurant is going cashless and it's all in the name of safety for its employees and customers.

When Angie's Soul Cafe opened a new location in January on Carnegie and E. 79th Street, owner Akin Affrica decided it would not accept cash.

"We make it very convenient. We do Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, every major credit card, we do CashApp, Zelle," Affrica said.

The business decision was not made lightly. Affrica was shot in June of 2017 at his shaker square restaurant -- Zanzibar.

He is grateful he can now walk.

"I was shot in my leg my thigh and my lower calf. The bullet severed my sciatic nerve so that was the main issue," he said.

That incident and other close calls at his businesses made it clear that he needed to ensure the safety of his staff and customers.

"It wasn't enough to catch the bad guys after the fact with the cameras and panic buttons. I needed to come up with an idea where they just would not bother us at all," Affrica explained.

"I think that in this day in age, it's a very good idea to be cashless," said customer Christina Thorpe.

"I think this is mostly a cashless society," said customer Nora Knight.

Going cashless has been successful for the business so far.

"It's been phenomenal. We're servicing about 15 to 18 hundred people a week on average," said Affrica.

He acknowledges not accepting cash could cost him customers -- but he is determined to give it a try.

"What was more important, somebody's life or money?"

A small price to pay -- to keep his customers and staff safe.

"For the businesses in this area, they better definitely take it in consideration for sure," Affrica said.

The other Angie's locations still accept card and cash.

Click here to check out the menu or find an Angie's location near you.

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