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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Jon Bon Jovi's charity restaurant opens in NJ

    RED BANK, N.J. (AP) — In three decades as one of the world's biggest rock stars, Jon Bon Jovi has eaten in some of the world's best restaurants, savoring the best food the planet has to offer.

    Yet there's no place he'd rather have dinner than The Soul Kitchen, a "pay-what-you-can" restaurant he and his wife Dorothea established in a former auto body shop near the Red Bank train station in central New Jersey.



    The restaurant provides gourmet-quality meals to the hungry while enabling them to volunteer on community projects in return without the stigma of visiting a soup kitchen. Paying customers are encouraged to leave whatever they want in the envelopes on each table, where the menus never list a price.

    The restaurant is the latest undertaking by the New Jersey rocker's Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which has built 260 homes for low-income residents in recent 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.

    "When I learned that one in six people in this country goes to bed hungry, I thought this was the next phase of the Foundation's work," he said.

    It started several years ago when Dorothea Bongiovi (she uses the legal spelling of her husband's name) and Jon started helping out at a food pantry at nearby St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church. They later moved their focus to the Lunch Break program, which feeds 80 to 120 people a day, dubbing it "The Soul Kitchen."

    They brought that name with them to a former auto body shop down the street from the Count Basie Theater, where Jon and his self-titled band have played many fundraising shows for local charities.

    It took a year and $250,000, but the restaurant now rivals any of its competitors in trendy Red Bank, with entrees like 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, many of which were grown in the herb and vegetable garden right outside the restaurant's doors.

    Bon Jovi, who has a home in next-door Middletown, is adamant about one thing.

    "This is not a soup kitchen," he emphasizes. "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.

    "There's no prices on our menu, so if you want to come and you want to make a difference, leave a $20 in the envelope on the table. If you can't afford to eat, you can bus tables, you can wait tables, you can work in the kitchen as a dishwasher or sous chef," he said. "If you say to me, 'I'm not a people person,' I say, 'That's not a problem. We'll take you back to Lunch Break to volunteer with those people. If you don't want to volunteer with that, we'll take you to the FoodBank."

    After volunteering at one of those places, a person will be given a certificate good for a meal at The Soul Kitchen.

    "If you come in and say, 'I'm hungry,' we'll feed you," Bon Jovi said. "But we're going to need you to do something. It's very important to what we're trying to achieve."

    That includes making people feel part of a larger community that cares about them, while still expecting them to contribute to society at large.

    "This is not an entitlement thing," Bon Jovi said. "This is about empowering people because you have to earn that gift certificate."

    He and others at the restaurant want those who can afford to dine out to patronize the restaurant as well and pay what they consider market prices, or even a bit more than that, to help sustain The Soul Kitchen as a true community resource.

    Bon Jovi said he is currently writing songs for his band's next album, due out in 2013, along with another typically massive Bon Jovi tour. He said many of the songs are inspired by the current economic downturn and the struggles of everyday people to make ends meet without losing hope.

    In the meantime, he and his wife plan to stay active in the restaurant, where he estimates he has worked at least once a week in recent months. The Soul Kitchen is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday, and offers Sunday brunch.

    How important is rolling up his sleeves and working in the restaurant to him?

    "Last Friday, I was at the White House, serving on the Council for Community Solutions, got on a train, changed in the bathroom and got here in time to wash dishes Friday night," he said. "I'm the dishwasher, for real. I can't cook a lick."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:31 PM
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    Default

    He's finally starting to show his age a little bit.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

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  3. #3
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:22 PM
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    Default

    he really does come off as a really good dude.

  4. #4
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 08:47 PM
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    Default

    2 things

    1 he is still hot...always will be

    2 I like the accountability here...no such thing as a free lunch

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  5. #5
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    06.02.16 @ 09:13 AM
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    Default

    Good for him. Seems like this is a part of the solution as opposed to just keeping people dependent.

  6. #6
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 07:40 PM
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    Default

    How do they ensure that the people who eat leave money in the envelope?

    Hope this works out as it seems to be a good thing to do.

  7. #7
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 10:08 PM
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    Default

    He has always come across as a stand up guy.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  8. #8
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OLO View Post
    He has always come across as a stand up guy.
    I'd still like to see what he'd post in the "The definition of 'cheating'" thread!

  9. #9
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 10:08 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    I'd still like to see what he'd post in the "The definition of 'cheating'" thread!
    You are a pervert.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:04 PM
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    Default

    Well done Mr. Bon Jovi... I still hate your music.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  11. #11
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OLO View Post
    You are a pervert.
    I'm not the one who allegedly treats my marriage as if an announcer read a disclaimer claiming "not valid in any state other than New Jersey" after the vows!

  12. #12
    Good Enough
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    12.11.17 @ 05:18 PM
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    Default

    Sounds like a really good approach and he seems to have accomplished more than most lying politicians do in decades of "public service". I really don't care what his marital arrangements are. I'm not a Bon Jovi fan at all, but let's give some credit where it is due.

  13. #13
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:46 PM
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    Default

    When celebs do things like this you often wonder if they are doing it just for some good publicity. Or are they trying to purchase some good karma in return for their lavish lifestyle, like purchasing carbon offset credits. With Bon Jovi it really does seem genuine though like others here have commented. This project, however well-intentioned, is going to bleed money like there's no tomorrow after the initial visits by people who can afford to pay market price. I hope I'm wrong on that, but perhaps he will continue to make up the difference out of his own pockets. Perhaps the "well-heeled" people will continue eating there regardless in the hopes of seeing the man himself since it has been publicized that he is there one night a week. Almost makes me want to volunteer my time at a soup kitchen in downtown Reading, PA but I don't feel like being stabbed or shot just yet.

    ps- I know very little about the man other than he married his high school sweetheart or something along those lines. I'm going to have to look into this marriage outside of NJ thing that people are mentioning. Is it something like he only has to remain faithful to his wife within the state boundaries? ha Also, the dude is a year older than me but I think he looks pretty damn good for 49.

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium
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    Good for him! Sounds like a great plan to me.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Default

    I think he fully admits to running around on his wife in the Slippery, New Jersey, Keep the Faith era.

    According to him he is now a faithful guy, and that's between him and her anyway, I don't care.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

 

 

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