Most of us know Jon Bon Jovi as the iconic rock star and frontman of the band Bon Jovi. We tend to associate him with the star-studded world of rock n roll, and that’s pretty much it. But it seems that right underneath our noses, the rockstar has a whole other life offstage – and it’s probably not what most people would imagine. Far away from the glitz and glamour of the music industry, Bon Jovi dedicates most of his time to helping the less fortunate. Back in 2006, he founded the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to achieve this goal.
A major part of that was the opening of his restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen. Not your ordinary soup kitchen, the restaurant offers a dignified option to those who can’t put food on the table. While the menu doesn’t have any prices, those who can afford to pay are encouraged to donate $20, and those who cannot have the option of volunteering instead.
Today, the restaurant has two branches, both in New Jersey. The second one opened near Toms River in 2016, four years after the area was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. In total, JBJ Soul Kitchen has served over 105,000 meals.
While the restaurant welcomes both paying and non-paying diners, those who are struggling and in need of a hot meal are given first priority. According to the restaurant, 54% of the meals were paid via donations, the rest through volunteering.
One of JBJ Soul Kitchen’s top priorities is providing meals that are both delicious and nutritious, which is why they grow their own organic produce in the restaurant’s garden.
The restaurant offers a range of dishes that incorporate diverse and fresh ingredients, all based on American cuisine. And we have to say, judging from the photos, they look delicious!