Bon Jovi Opens Charity Restaurant
October 20, 2011 by staff
Bon Jovi Opens Charity Restaurant, In three decades as one of the biggest stars in the rock world, Jon Bon Jovi has eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world, savoring the best food on the planet has to offer.
However, there is no other place that you prefer to dine at La Soul Kitchen, a “pay-what-you-can” restaurant he and his wife Dorothea established in an auto body shop near the old train station Network Bank in central New Jersey.
The restaurant offers a gourmet-quality food to the hungry, while allowing them to volunteer on community projects in return without the stigma of visiting a soup kitchen. The paying customers are encouraged to leave what they want in the envelopes at each table, where no menus a price list.
The restaurant is the latest commitment of New Jersey Jon Bon Jovi rocker Alma Foundation, which has built 260 homes for low-income residents in recent years.
“With the economic downturn, one thing I noticed was that disposable income was one of the first things that were,” Bon Jovi told the AP in an interview on Wednesday before the opening ceremony of the restaurant. “Going out to dinner, the family goes to a restaurant, not having to cook Mom, Dad does not have to clean up – a lot of memories were made around tables in restaurants.
“When I heard that one in six people in this country goes to bed hungry, I thought this was the next phase of work of the Foundation,” he said.
It all started several years ago when Dorothea Bongiovi (which uses the legal spelling of her husband’s name) and Jon began to help a food pantry in nearby Roman Catholic Church in San Antonio. They later moved their focus on Lunch Break program, which feeds 80 to 120 people a day, calling it “The Soul Kitchen”.
They took the name with them to a car body shop down the street old Count Basie Theatre, where Jon and his eponymous band have played many fundraising programs for local charities.
It took a year to 250,000, and although the restaurant is now competing with any of its competitors in Red Bank fashionable, with dishes like cornmeal catfish crusted with red beans and rice, chicken breast grilled with homemade basil mayonnaise and rice pilaf and grilled salmon with condiments soul, sweet mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables, many of which were cultivated in the herb garden, opposite the restaurant.
Bon Jovi, who has a home in neighboring Middletown, is convinced of one thing.
“This is not a soup kitchen,” he emphasizes. “You can come here with the dignity of linen and silver, and will serve a healthy and nutritious food. This is not burgers and fries.
“There are no prices on the menu, so if you want to come and want to make a difference, leave a and 20 in the envelope on the table. If you can not afford to eat, you can wipe tables, you can wait tables , you can work in the kitchen as a dishwasher or sous chef, “he said. “If you say, ‘I’m not a very social person, I say,’ That’s not a problem. We’ll take you back to volunteer lunch with people. If you do not want to volunteer that you take the Bank of Food. ”
After volunteering at one of those places, a person is given a certificate good for a meal for the soul.
“If they come and say, ‘I have hunger”, we’ll feed you, “said Bon Jovi.” But what we need to do something. It is very important what we are trying to achieve. ”
That includes making people feel part of a larger community that cares for them, while expected to contribute to society in general.
“This is not the right thing,” said Bon Jovi. “It’s about empowering people, because you have to win this gift certificate.”
He and others in the restaurant want those who can afford to eat out and sponsor the restaurant and pay what they consider the market prices, or even a bit more than that, to help sustain the Soul Kitchen as a a true community resource.
Bon Jovi said he is writing songs for his band’s next album, due out in 2013, along with another general, massive Bon Jovi tour. He said many of the songs are inspired by the current economic crisis and the struggles of ordinary people to make ends meet without losing hope.
Meanwhile, he and his wife plan to stay active in the restaurant, which is estimated to have worked at least once a week in recent months. The Soul Kitchen is open for dinner from Thursday to Saturday and offers Sunday brunch.
How important is roll up their sleeves and work in the restaurant to it?
“Last Friday, I was in the White House to serve on the Council for Community Solutions, climbed onto a train, changed in the bathroom and I arrived in time to wash dishes Friday night,” said . “I am the dishwasher, really. I can not cook a hand.”
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