soup kitchen

Mano Lujan and his son, Milo, served up piping hot bowls of soup to all who came to The Shed on Sunday for Layla and Milo's Soup Kitchen.

Three months after opening its doors, Layla and Milo's Soup Kitchen continues to serve up complementary, piping hot bowls of soup to all who come to The Shed Soul Kitchen every Sunday.

Layla and Milo Lujan, 14 and 11 respectively, came up with the idea for the Soup Kitchen as a way to use the uneaten food generated by their parents' restaurant, Red House BBQ, located across the street from The Shed on East Tehachapi Boulevard.

The children's father, Mano Lujan, said the Soup Kitchen is now thriving, and everyone is welcome to come eat for free, regardless of ability to pay.

"We are averaging about 100 people every Sunday," said Mano. "People are pretty happy with the Soup Kitchen. They keep coming back and bringing people. It's a good thing."

Each week, the Lujans offer patrons a 16-ounce serving of their choice of three handcrafted soups, including a vegan option, bread, choice of drink and, more recently, dessert.

Also new to The Shed are periodic concerts held on Friday and Saturday nights, bringing a nightclub environment to the establishment.

"We are going to start expanding on doing more live shows, some dinner theater and dinner and a movie," said Mano.

Recently installed is a 10-foot wide screen and projector. Mano said he is currently finalizing copyright red tape to show the movies on Friday and Saturday nights.

"People will be able to come in, sit down and eat, but there will be very limited seating, and the cuisine will match the film," Mano said.

For instance, if the selected movie for the night is "The Godfather," Mano said he would be serving Italian cuisine.

Said Mano, "When we do John Wayne movies, get ready for steaks and chops and mashed potatoes and gravy."

The Soup Kitchen, however, will remain untouchable on Sundays, and will remain the same.

Layla and Milo continue to spend their Sundays serving soup to customers if they are not participating in extracurricular, school activities, while their mother, Mei Mei, keeps things operating at the family's other restaurant across the street.

Milo said he likes spending time with his dad at the Soup Kitchen and helping people out.

"I think it's good that now people can have some dessert if they want any," said Milo as he sat drawing a picture of an alien in between customers.

Layla and Milo's Soup Kitchen will is open each Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. at The Shed Soul Kitchen, located at 333 E. Tehachapi Blvd. Mano posts the upcoming menu each week on his Facebook page.

"Donations are accepted and appreciated, but are never asked for or required," said Mano.