When you think of a good location for a restaurant, prison isn’t one of them. The location violates pretty much all of the rules when it comes to scouting restaurant locations. It’s difficult to get to, getting a table is a hassle, and the surrounding area is unpleasant. And let’s face it, most people try to avoid prison. I know I make a lot of the decision in my Froggy life in terms of “will one decision land me in prison; if so, choose the other option.” So why did a prison in England recently open a restaurant?
One Fat Frog just learned about an organization in England called Clink Charity. The aim of the charity is to empower inmates and give them the job skills necessary to be a contributing member of society upon their release. A major problem for ex-convicts is that it’s so hard to get a good job once they’re released from prison that they fall back into the habits that got them arrested in the first place. Clink Charity opens and runs restaurants in England prisons and has inmates work at the restaurant, serving customers and getting the skills they need to work in the culinary industry once they are released.
Clink Charity just opened its third prison restaurant in Brixon Prison in London. This joins restaurants at High Down Prison in Surrey and Cardiff Prison in Wales. All meals are cooked and served by inmates of the prisons. Anyone can come eat at the restaurants – not just people visiting inmates at the prison – but all diners must be over 18 years of age, must provide photo ID, and must book a reservation 48 hours in advance. Phones, large bags, and any sharp implements are prohibited, of course. One Fat Frog has been unable to learn what kind of cutlery they use at the prison restaurant, but we’re guessing the knives are plastic. The Clink restaurant is a great combination of delicious food and philanthropy, so the Frog is all for it, but you won’t find any of the Frog staff eating there, because they also don’t allow alcohol.