Jon Bon Jovi's restaurants promise its customers a unique dining experience with its price free menu and unique seating arrangements.
It is not unlikely for celebrities to have their own perfume brands, restaurants or even clothing line. While many of them make huge profits out of these business others focus on contributing to society, working for the upliftment of the disadvantaged among us. The 90s heartthrob and legendary musician Jon Bon Jovi is such a star. He has started a community restaurant model that aims to feed anybody and everybody. The volunteer-run restaurants that are situated in New Jersey have caught the attention of many for the charitable work as well as its unique working model.
According to People, JBJ Soul Kitchen is a community restaurant that does not have a designated price on any of the dishes on its menu. Customers who dine can either make a donation or just volunteer in the kitchen for their three-course meal that includes soup or salad, an entrée of your choice, and a freshly baked dessert.
The restaurant welcomes people from all socio-economic backgrounds to share the experience together over some delicious food, regardless of whether they are paying or volunteering. "...here the community kitchen actually allows people to come and volunteer or come and enjoy a meal with the in-need. You meet them; they meet you. It’s more of a community feel," said the restaurant’s general manager Lou Morreale.
The unique establishment uses fresh, local and organic ingredients, creating some delicious food such as pan-seared salmon, homemade jalapeno cornbread and spinach rice.
Apart from the food, its unique seating arrangements allows its diners to meet people and bond over a meal. "People are seated communally because we want people here to read each other. You never know who you’re sitting next to. You don’t know if its someone in need or if its someone who’s come to pay. That’s really not what this is about. What you’re going to find is so much in common with your neighbor," said Bon Jovi to People.
He further went on to say how this seating breaks barriers between people and gives them a new dining experience. "Americans today are very guarded … When you’re at a restaurant, you’re kind of thinking you’re encroaching on my space, well here, there are no barriers. Everybody together. And, in turn, you strike up a conversation over food or fan, or whatever it may be. And you learn more about yourself," said the rockstar.
The restaurant was started by the singer and his wife Dorthea in 2009 thinking it would stand as a symbol of empowerment. "One in six people in America are suffering at night and going to bed hungry, and one in five families live at or below the poverty line. What this restaurant is truly meant to do is empower. You don’t come in here with a sense of entitlement. You come in here and volunteer because we need your help," said Bon Jovi to Daily Beast. In an interview with People, he credited his wife for the idea of such a restaurant. "My wife does all the work. And I get all the credit!” said the singer.
The Soul Kitchen with its beautiful interiors, delicious food, and communal feeling is reportedly one of the favorite eateries in the area.