Radiohead asked people to pay what they wanted for their 2007 album, In Rainbows
. Perhaps Jon Bon Jovi was paying close attention. He's opened a community restaurant, Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, N.J., and the twist is that it's a pay-what-you-can restaurant.
The 49-year-old is intrinsically linked with New Jersey, so it should come as no surprise that he's giving back. "At a time when 1 in 5 households are living at or below the poverty level, and at a time when 1 out of 6 Americans are food insecure, this is a restaurant whose time has come," he said at the October 19 opening. "This is a place based on and built on community – by and for the community."
The stated aim is indeed admirable: you're able to eat fresh food (which is to say mainly organic and locally sourced) and there are no prices on the menu. The suggested minimum is $10 per three-course meal, but if money's too tight to mention (as another band once sang), the Soul Kitchen asks that you repay the cost by volunteering at the restaurant or other local charitable organizations.
Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea are using a former auto body shop for Soul Kitchen (the idea sprung from the couple previously helping out at a food pantry at a nearby church) and his band has played many fundraising shows for local charities in the Soul Kitchen space. And it's not the first undertaking for his Soul Foundation, which has also recently built 260 homes for low-income residents. "This is not a soup kitchen," he told the Associated Press
about the restaurant. "You can come here with the dignity of linens and silver, and you're served a healthy, nutritious meal. This is not burgers and fries."
He's not wrong; the menu features the likes of cornmeal crusted catfish with red beans and rice, grilled chicken breast with homemade basil mayo and rice pilaf, and grilled salmon with soul seasonings, sweet potato mash and sauteed greens. The notion of paying what you want in a restaurant isn't new (TIME has even made a video about it
) but it rarely comes with such star-studded backing. And if interested parties decide to start Soul Kitchens of their own in their communities, that's the kind of cover you'd imagine that Jon Bon Jovi would love to hear. (via NBC
Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/10/24/...#ixzz1bpntEUUl