A community restaurant where you can eat a full meal for 20 dollars or, if you're in trouble, you can offer your help in the kitchen. In this way Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea Hurly are "colonizing" New Jersey, with this very successful solidarity initiative.
"It's my life
It's now or never
But I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive"
The refrain of It's my life, one of Jon Bon Jovi's most beautiful songs, is dated 2000, but it seems to have predicted the second life of the American singer: together with his wife Dorothea Hurley, Jon Bon Jovi has in fact opened two restaurants (and he is already thinking of opening a third one). So far nothing strange, a billionaire who throws himself into catering business: but here there is a peculiarity, because these are community restaurants and people with straitened circumstances eat for free.
JBJ Soul Kitchen: free food in exchange for work in the kitchen
The first restaurant was opened in 2011 in Red Bank, New Jersey (the singer's home state). It's called JBJ Soul Kitchen and it has a very particular business system: there are no prices on the menu, the donation is 20 dollars to cover the cost of meals, with the possibility of increasing the amount donated to the restaurant. The ones who do not have the 20 dollars can safely sit at the table, enjoy the meal and offer their help in the kitchen as a dishwasher.
The great public success of the restaurant has enticed the couple to open a second restaurant, in 2016, always in New Jersey. The restaurant is much larger than the first one and, for the third restaurant, the size should continue to grow. Jon Bon Jovi spoke to Billboard about this project some time ago: "Our mission has always been to promote new initiatives and deal with problems such as lack of food and home". In their spare time, the Bon Jovi family – Jon, Dorothea and their children Stephanie Rose, Jesse James, Jacob and Romeo – serve in the family restaurants. Dad Jon cares very much about the kids' relationship with the community.
The third restaurant, as Jon and Dorothea told CBS, is expected to open at the University of Rutgers, also in New Jersey, to support all students who don't have enough money to pay for lunch.