Inside the One of a Kind Restaurant Run by Inmates

Low-cost with a side of second chances

Jul 18, 2017

While culinary crazes come and go, unexpected dining experiences are always a crowd-pleaser and eating at Fife and Drum really tops the list. But despite being an obvious tick off any weird and wonderful buck list this spot is not going anywhere anywhere any time soon.

The restaurant, staffed by prison inmates, and part of the Northeastern Correctional Center in Massachusetts, hosts a unique culinary arts program that has been around for over 35 years.

The inmates are part of a rehabilitative vocational program that aims to prep them for real-life career-oriented goals after their release from prison. Fife and Drum is on the prison's grounds, but is open to the public, and employs inmates on minimum security and pre-release status, on the verge of transitioning from prison to life outside.

The learning experience and opportunity to work with each other and the public offers inmates a fresh, positive perspective, and one that gives them the tools and encouragement that they need for their endeavors on the outside to be successful.

For diners, the experience is also a winning one: lunch prices are hard to beat - with $3.21 being an astronomically cheap prix fixed option including menu items like clam chowder, chicken gyros, grilled cheese sandwiches, BBQ chicken and Chinese food specials, plus chocolate parfaits with cookies for dessert. In the end, it looks like everyone one comes out happy.

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Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.