Bon Jovi Opens 'Pay What You Can' Soul Kitchen in NJ

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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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


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Comments [10]

Julie from Texas

That is a very great thing to do for the less fortunate people out there God bless you all and to everyone that help's. It would be nice to see places like that in every town there is alot of people who struggle out there and need help this is a great way for them to reiceve a blessing from great people who give!

Nov. 19 2011 12:56 PM
John St John from St. Petersburg Florida

Yo Jon....if you read this I would like to say great idea but as the young lady said who lives up needs to be opened more hours....and may I suggest if I live up there I would volunteer 3 hours a day for my meal and the other 2 hours for vouchers for a needy person to eat...I am sitting in a Paneras' here in St. Petersburg ,Fl.and I know that some of the Paneras' have menu's with no prices pay what you can afford....and those stores take in more money then if they had prices ....Great Idea and as a fellow musician I appluad you for your giving back to the people.......

Oct. 22 2011 02:30 PM
sarah from NJ

To donate:

Oct. 20 2011 05:59 PM
Zak from Princeton, NJ

It is a good idea. I hope another organization opens something like this in Trenton, Long Branch and Burlington county NJ as well. Times are tough, and localvore and cheaps eats should be encouraged.

Oct. 20 2011 04:40 PM
Ana from Red Bank, NJ

I live in Red Bank. This is a great, great idea. But I am very interested to see how much it actually helps. Right now the restaurant is open 3 nights a week, for 2 hours each, a total of 6 hours.Reservations are strongly recommended for the small space. It is a VERY wealthy area with lots of 'foodies' that love to eat at the next big thing. I hope that the people in need, and not just the fancy pantsys end up getting a spot at the table too. I'm not sure how many of the downtrodden would feel comfortable with the wealth displayed by some of the other diners. I think I recall reading somewhere that Soul Kitchen is based on a business model that has already performed successfully in Salt Lake City and Denver, maybe. We are a little less charitable in this area, unfortunately.So, while I wish JBJ and SK all the best,( I have even volunteered to help out,lots of restaurant experience) I will be closely watching this. If it works out, it would be great to see the plan replicated and expanded.

Oct. 20 2011 02:37 PM
fellow proud Jerseyan

"Only the things you do for Chris will last."

Religious or not, this is truly being a servant of the Lord and serving the less fortunate. This brings awareness to others that there are so many honorable ways to spend your money and leave a legacy. Fantastic idea and Kudos to you, Jon!

Oct. 20 2011 10:02 AM
Rhonda from Sheffield Lake, OH

What if you live in a different state and would like to send a donation/gift to the Soul Kitchen??? I can't find an address to mail it to.

Oct. 20 2011 09:45 AM
Ellen from Gulfport(St Pete) Fl

Great concept! Like to know how many pple pay & how many work it off. We need that here in Fl.

Oct. 20 2011 09:09 AM

Sign me up! How may I help to expand this worth while cause to other communities!

Oct. 19 2011 06:00 PM
Ellen from Chicago IL

What a Wonderful thing to do! Being a huge Bon Jovi fan/Music. He has a heart of gold! God Bless him....

Oct. 19 2011 05:43 PM

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