Bon Jovi, patron saint of New Jersey, opens pay-what-you-want restaurant at Rutgers-Newark

Illustration for article titled Bon Jovi, patron saint of New Jersey, opens pay-what-you-want restaurant at Rutgers-Newark
Photo: MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP (Getty Images)

You deserve a dispatch of Jon Bon Jovi Is A Good Dude news. This week, the New Jersey rock god opened the third location of JBJ Soul Kitchen, a nonprofit community restaurant. It’s located on the Rutgers-Newark campus, making it the first of three locations on a college campus. Jon Bon Jovi: great hair, great dude.


JBJ Soul Kitchen doesn’t function exactly like most restaurants. For one thing, it’s pay-what-you-want (PWYW), and the menu has no prices on it. Those who can afford it are encouraged to pay $12 for a three-course meal—$20 at the Red Bank and Toms River locations. Those who don’t have the money don’t have to pay and are encouraged to learn about volunteering with the restaurants. The menu changes regularly but always offers a three-course, locally sourced meal. According to, the Rutgers-Newark location’s menu includes short ribs, maple-roasted chicken, and BBQ pulled beef, and will include halal, kosher, vegan, and gluten-free options. Jon Bon Jovi: willing to rock out, willing to accommodate dietary restrictions.

PWYW dining might have a good social mission, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s a viable business model. But JBJ Soul Kitchen is a project of the JBJ Soul Foundation, a multi-pronged nonprofit dedicated to breaking cyclical poverty, founded by Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorthea Bongiovi. (Side note: ohh my God, how did I just realize his name is not actually Bon Jovi, but also actually is?) So, even if JBJ Soul Kitchen isn’t raking in dough on its own, it’s backed by a rock star worth around $410 million. I think it’ll do just fine.


Najeh Davenport's Laundry Basket

Allow me to jazz up the menu a bit:

Stew give love a bad name

Livin’ on a Pear

Wanted bread or alive

Blaze of John Dory

Lay your clams on me