We’re stepping out of New York City for the day – heading to Red Bank, New Jersey.
Well, not literally, but figuratively.
Have you heard about the restaurant there that musician Jon Bon Jovi and his wife opened?
It’s called Soul Kitchen – and by all reports it is pretty special.
From a CBS news story:
“Jon Bon Jovi is trying to get rid of the negative stigma of getting a charitable free meal with his experimental new restaurant, The Soul Kitchen.
The rocker makes it clear that his wife and his new establishment is not a soup kitchen, but a place for people who need a meal to volunteer in lieu of payment. Customers who can afford to donate a few dollars can leave a donation for their meal.
The Red Bank, N.J.-based restaurant served 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 during the Oct. 19 opening. “This is not a soup kitchen,” he said. “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.”
For those who can’t afford to pay for a meal, The Soul Kitchen asks that you volunteer at the restaurant washing dishes, busing tables or working in the kitchen.
Envelopes are placed on the table for those who can afford to pay. Patrons are encouraged to leave what they can afford and feel is appropriate for the meal.”
The restaurant is open Thursday, Friday & Saturday
from 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Sundays from 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Reservations should be made in advance by calling 732-842-0900.
The location is:
207 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ
New Jersey Transit trains travel from New York City’s Penn Station to New Jersey’s Red Bank station – takes maybe 1-1/2 hours each way (anybody? Is this correct?).
Sounds like a fun outing – great food, great cause, a new (for me) town to explore.
Plus, the restaurant has cute tee shirts for sale (and other merchandise as well, through the JBJ Soul Foundation).
From the restaurant’s website, here’s what they say about their volunteer opportunities:
“Our volunteer opportunities fall into two categories: 1) those that need to volunteer in order to provide a meal for themselves and/or their families; and 2) those that volunteer to help staff the kitchen to assist in providing the meals to those in need. So, if you are local or have the ability to visit the Kitchen, the best way you can help would be to patronize the kitchen as a paying customer or to spread the word of our community kitchen to your neighbors. By doing so you support the financial balance of this model, where our greatest need is for a large percentage of paying customers whose payment offsets the costs of the client population who need to volunteer in order to provide their family with a healthy, nutritious meal. By dining at Soul Kitchen, you are also providing fellowship and aiding us in bringing communities together. We understand that there are many who, in addition to paying, also want to provide some service and we encourage all to get involved in their communities. Please continue to visit our website for updates and information on specific volunteer opportunities or events.”
Kudos to Mr. & Mrs. Bongiovi!