SOUL KITCHEN FINDS ITS FOOTING

Newly recruited general manager Ryan Timmons outside Soul Kitchen earlier this week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Three months after opening, Soul Kitchen, the pay-what-you-can-or-work-it-off restaurant on Red Bank’s West Side, is  progresssing toward its goal of feeding the haves and have-nots in equal numbers, new manager Ryan Timmons tells redbankgreen.

About 30 percent of the restaurant’s patrons pay with vouchers earned through volunteer work at Soul Kitchen or a growing roster of other non-profits, Timmons said. The goal is a 50-50 mix among diners, and “the voucher-to-payment ratio is going up,” he said.

Meanwhile, paying customers are being generous when settling up bills via the discreet donation envelopes that servers present to them at the end of their three-course dinners, he said. The suggested donation is $10, but “very few” customers leave just that amount, he said, and instead pay more to help subsidize meals for others.

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BON JOVI OPENS SOUL KITCHEN

bon-jovi-dorotheaJon Bon Jovi gives his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, an attagirl as she prepares a table at the opening of the JBJ Soul Kitchen Wednesday afternoon. The yard outside the restaurant, below, features a vegetable and herb garden. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

soul-kitchenWith a heavy rain irrigating the vegetable garden behind him and cameras streaming the event live, pop star Jon Bon Jovi inaugurated a pay-what-you-can-or-work-it-off restaurant on Monmouth Street in Red Bank Wednesday afternoon.

Dubbed the JBJ Soul Kitchen, the eatery is “not a soup kitchen,” Bon Jovi told a tent packed with press and local officials. “We hope to empower individuals who just need a hand up, and enable some who just need to lend a hand.”

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WIN A BON JOVI GUITAR. GO NAKED. OR BOTH

Done3In an effort to raise awareness about detectable cancers, two Red Bank shops are organizing an evening of champagne, sweets and beautiful, bare skin.

Another organization is auctioning off a guitar donated by pop star Jon Bon Jovi to help feed and clothe those in need.

Well, one of those got your attention, right?

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