The restaurant is part of an effort to help the neighborhood recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York and New Jersey in 2012. The kitchen will provide training for unemployed people in the area and teach practical culinary skills they can use for future employment.
The target population is the "second chance" unemployed -- people who cannot hold down a job due to substance abuse, a criminal record or health problems. Participants will go through a 13-week program in which they will receive training and job placement assistance.
"Large swaths of the peninsula are lacking in quality, sustainable, nutritious food. It's is also sadly true that many Rockaway residents need help developing skills to lift them out of unemployment," Weiner told the New York Daily News.
According to the project's website, their goal "is to provide a comfortable neighborhood restaurant with healthy, locally sourced food that satisfies the hunger of Rockaway residents."
Weiner said the project is still a work in progress. Weiner represented the neighborhood along with a part of Brooklyn while serving in Congress. After a sexting scandal ended his congressional career, he ran for mayor of New York City. That bid also ended due to a sexting scandal after it was discovered he was conversing with a woman under the name "Carlos Danger."