Two restaurants offering 'pay what you want' pricing before closing in Montclair

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (WABC) -- A chef in New Jersey is giving back to his loyal customers.

He's closing his restaurants to start on his next new project, but before he closes the doors he is letting customers pay whatever they want for their meals.

For nearly a decade, Chef Zod Arifai has been sharing his culinary talents with food lovers throughout Montclair, New Jersey through his side by side award winning restaurants "Blu" and "Next Door"

Both restaurants offer unique dining experiences.

"We have never had anything we didn't like, I have to tell you that honestly, and we've been coming here 10 years," said Rosalie Saferstein, a longtime customer.

However with his 10-year lease coming to an end, Chef Zod decided to spice things up before closing up shop, and is offering a special "pay what you want" menu to customers.

Customers get to decide how much cash they want to fork over after their meal.

"Everyone kept saying, 'No it's not going to work out, no it's not a great idea, no you're going to ruin the brand of the restaurant,' but I'm really not into that, I wanted to try it out," Arifai said.

It's a crazy concept perhaps, but it's no gimmick. You can simply order whatever you like on the menu, and as much as you want of that item, and pay whatever you feel is appropriate.

"There might be a few tables here and there, a week that might not leave a lot of money, but overall I think people are being generous and I'm surprised because they're being quite generous," Arifai said.

Longtime customers say they're really going to miss these good eats, but they're delighted for Chef Zod's future plans.

"Absolutely love it, food is great, the burgers, having the penne today and I've never had this before and it's absolutely delicious," said Nicole Stoll, a longtime customer.

"Initially when I heard about it I said, 'Oh he's out of his mind, he's really out of his mind,' I did not have as much faith as he did, but it seems to be working," a customer said.

Although the lease is ending at the end of the month, Chef Zod says he may try to extend it at least for a couple weeks.

He's really looking forward to pursuing his longtime dream of opening a new restaurant in Manhattan.
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