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Bon Jovi and Wife Open a Pay What You Can Restaurant in Jersey

For years, we’ve known Jon Bon Jovi as one of the many musical mougs from New Jersey who made it big. While you might assume he’s busy in the studio working on songs for his newest record (which you’d assume correctly…the rockers next CD will be hitting shelves in 2013 followed by a world tour), what you may not have known is that he and his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, have been active in the community the rocker grew up in trying to make a difference for those less fortunate. The pair are at it again and have just unveiled their latest project to try and give back.

The Soul Kitchen is the new gourmet restaurant the couple have opened. However, it’s not like any celebrity gourmet restaurant you’ve ever heard of, this is one everyone can afford. Their “pay-what-you-can” menu offers some of the finest gourmet quality meals to those who can’t afford to eat out. Paying customers are asked to leave what they can in the envelopes left on the tables while those who can’t pay money are simply asked to pitch in.

“With the economic downturn, one of the things I noticed was that disposable income was one of the first things that went,” Jon explains. “Dining out, the family going 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 added.

The Foundation Jon is talking about is the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. Other projects they’ve completed through the help of their namesake is building 260 houses for low income families, charity concerts, a local food pantry they began helping in several years ago, and their soup kitchen, Lunch Break, which feeds over 100 people per day, the one that started it all.

Now, after a year and $250,000, The Soul Kitchen is open to those who still want to enjoy fine quality dining at a price they can afford while giving back to the community.

“This is not a soup kitchen,” Bon Jovi makes clear. “You can come here with the dignities of linens and silver, and you’re served a healthy, nutritious meal. This is not burgers and fries.”

The restaurant offers a menu rich in gourmet soul food you’d find in any of the areas most famous eateries. 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. Not only do the options sound mouth watering, many of the ingredients were grown in the herb and vegetable garden right outside the doors of the establishment.

“There are no prices on the 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 a sous chef,” he says. “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 Food Bank.”

“If you come in and say ‘I’m hungry,’ we’ll feed you,” he says. “But we’re going to need you to do something. It’s very important to what we’re trying to achieve.”

Once you’ve volunteered at these places, you’ll earn a food certificate good at The Soul Kitchen for your meal. This idea is all part of a bigger plan for the Foundation to help bring back some community and help people who are struggling know that there are people out there who care about them while giving a little back in return.

“This is not an entitlement thing,” the rocker adds. “This is about empowering people because you have to earn that gift certificate.”

Bon Jovi urges those who can afford to dine out to patron The Soul Kitchen to help make this a true community resource. They are open for dinner near the Red Bank train station in central New Jersey Thursday through Saturday and also offer Sunday Brunch. He and his wife have been staying active in the restaurant and the New Jersey moug we all know and love has been working there at least once per week to pitch in. While you might think he’s busy creating delicious dishes to don the menu with his decades of experience dining in the worlds best restaurants, you might be surprised.

“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 to wash dishes Friday night,” he said. “I’m the dishwasher, for real. I can’t cook a lick.”

We have to say, this is by far one of the coolest things we’ve heard of recently. We wish Jon and Dorothea and the rest of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation much success.

So what do you think about this Celebstalkers? Isn’t is great to see celebrities giving back to the community?


Happy Birthday Johnny!!

Happy Birthday Johnny Depp! Today, Celebstalk tips their hats to the mougariffic dish that is you! Some may be wondering why, of all the celebrity birthdays throughout the year, would we make an extra special post just for Johnny? Ummm….because he’s JOHNNY FREAKING DEPP! Besides, you don’t think Celebstalk would have let our 2010 Mougar of the Year slip by without notice on his 47th birthday, do you? Of course not! Lets journey back through the years to celebrate Johnny!


It all started way back in the 80’s when Nick Cage helped Johnny get into the acting biz. His first big role was in A Nightmare on Elm Street where he played sexy jock Glen Lantz and was sucked into the mattress and pulled into our hearts. Glen never saw it coming….and neither did we.

Fast forward a few years to a little show called “21 Jump Street” where Johnny played badass cop Tom Hanson for 3 years. He was tough, sexy, somewhat believable as a cop from the wrong side of the beat, he had handcuffs and women all across America wanted a strip search. Grrrr!

Over the next 4 years, Johnny stayed busy taking on blockbusters like Edward Scissorhands (where he first met Winona Ryder and Tim Burton-who he would go on to star in multiple projects), Benny & Joon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (with then nearly unknown Leonardo DiCaprio) and Ed Wood. While there still were a few nonbelievers out there, in 1994, Johnny took a role that would skyrocket him to the top of the mougar charts.

Don Juan DeMarco. In all his open shirt, bronzey chested, ¬†spanish accent glory. This was the role that had women across the world losing their shit. This would be the first of the many roles Johnny would take that would send out hearts pacing and our minds reeling over his hotness. Did Johnny have lines in the movie? Sure. He was the star, wasn’t he? Did we hear any of them? No. No we did not.

Since 1994, Johnny has starred in over 30 more mind-numbingly hot roles where he has demonstrated his talent as an actor and as one of the most magnificent mougars who has ever walked this planet. Chocolat, Blow, Pirates of the Caribbean, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland and The Tourist (with Angelina Jolie) are just a few of the amazing works we’ve seen throughout the years from Johnny and luckily for us, much more is to come. Just a few projects on the horizon for one of our favorite mougs includes The Rum Diary, Dark Shadows and a cameo in the upcoming 21 Jump Street movie where Johnny will be reprising his role of the hunky handcuff carrying Tom Hanson. Right now, you can see Johnny in theaters for his fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean where he returns as the eccentric, charming and sexy Captain Jack Sparrow. For a guy who used to sell pens for a living, Johnny’s doing pretty damn good.

So, Johnny, we raise our glasses to you and all your hotness. We’ve come a long way, baby! Happy Birthday!