Snuggled alongside Asbury Park’s quickly redeveloping Main Street is a bar that has stood its ground for decades throughout the city’s up-and-down economies. This time around the bar is getting a chance at a new life. Cameo will be coming out of the closet as Asbury Park’s newest gay men’s bar.
While the interior still resembles Cameo’s past life as a popular straight bar dating back as far as the 1930s, it’s soon to be given a fabulous facelift. But fear not historians: The original “cameo fixture silhouettes,” copper ceiling and just about anything actually historical will remain. Want to see the whole transformation from start to finish? The bar is currently in a soft open stage, so you still have time to see what it looks like before its facelift.
The place is being rescued by New York City’s bar and restaurant entrepreneur, John McGillian, who in recent years has brought his talents to Asbury Park by opening several already majorly successful establishments with plans to open a few more over the next year. “John isn’t one to cut corners, and the community here is excited to see what renovations he has in store for Cameo,” says John Figueiredo, the new bar general manager for Cameo.
Cameo has already become a success in the town even before the renovations have begun. “I’m really happy with how quickly members of our community have taken to the idea of a straight bar turning gay,” Figueiredo says. “The community has embraced this new bar. I’ll look up and the bar is full. It’s great!”
Like most bars, Cameo has already adopted some theme nights such as Wicked Wednesdays that will give you chills while “American Horror Story” plays on the TV screens in a wonderfully lit environment. A fan favorite is Martini Mondays, which features signature martinis served up by sexy bartenders. And yet another weekly event is the BIG Gay Beer Blast, which explodes every Sunday from noon until 8 p.m. What’s better than that? Oh, the prices. Brace yourselves, the drinks range from only $2 to $6 during happy hour.
So whether you’re an Asbury native, visiting for the weekend or need a weeknight escape, Cameo is a place you’ll find a stiff cocktail, some nice beats and handsome men.
Cameo 1213 Main Street Asbury Park, NJ 07712
(A few blocks from the Asbury Park train station)