Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a reporter at WNYC covering economic development.
Jon Bon Jovi's "pay-what-you-can" charity restaurant in Red Bank, New Jersey, opened for business on Tuesday. Diners pay what they can, and if they have no money, they can work in the restaurant or perform some community service in exchange for their meal.
The restaurant, called Soul Kitchen, aims to serve healthy meals and empower diners in need.
There are no prices on the menu. Instead, Bon Jovi's charitable foundation subsidizes the restaurant, as do patrons who can afford to pay the minimum donation for their meal.
While involved in the restaurant, the singer said he "can't cook a lick." But he does roll up his sleeves and wash dishes.
"At a time when one in five households are living at or below the poverty level, and at a time when one out of six Americans are food insecure, this is a restaurant whose time has come," Bon Jovi said. "This is a place based on and built on community — by and for the community."
The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation began serving Soul Kitchen meals in 2009, using different locations to assess need and response, before opening up at its new permanent location at 207 Monmouth St.
The restaurant is open from 5 to 7 P.M. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
With the Associated Press