Jon Bon Jovi's charity restaurant opens

Posted Oct 19, 2011 by Forstine Carter
Jon Bon Jovi has been one of world's biggest rock stars for over three decades, has eaten at some of the best restaurants and tasted some of the best dishes, now opens his own restaurant for charity.
Jon Bon Jovi. - File photo
Jon Bon Jovi. - File photo
According to the Associated Press, there's no place he'd rather have dinner than The Soul Kitchen, a "pay-what-you-can" restaurant he and his wife Dorothea has established inside a former auto body shop near Red Bank train station in New Jersey.
The restaurant serves gourmet-quality foods to the hungry while making it possible for them to volunteer on community projects in return without the stigma of visiting a soup kitchen. Paying customers are encouraged to leave what they like in the envelopes on each table and menus never list a price.
WLBT reports that the restaurant is the latest project by the New Jersey rocker's Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which has built 260 homes for low-income residents in the last few years.
"With the economic downturn, one of the things I noticed was that disposable income was one of the first things that went," Bon Jovi told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday before the restaurant's grand opening ceremony.
"Dining out, the family going out to a restaurant, mom not having to cook, dad not having to clean up - a lot of memories were made around restaurant tables.
Yahoo News
reports that it began several years ago when Dorothea Bongiovi (she uses the legal spelling of her husband's name) and Jon started out helping at a food pantry near St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church. Later on they moved their focus to the Lunch Break Program, which feeds about 80 to 120 people per day.
They brought the name with them to a former auto body shop down the street from the Count Basie Theater, where Jon and his band have played many fundraising shows for charity. It took a year and $250,000, but the restaurant now rivals it's competitors.