“ALL A LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH IN THE BEST WAYS POSSIBLE”: SWELL POP-UP PARTY
Swell and gay days continue in Asbury Park.
May 2010, three local creative minds converged to bring the area’s GLBTI community a bar at the beach. No dancing, just cheap friends and fun. Errr… friends and cheap fun.
The team decided on the name Swell and it became the new “Cheers”-like spot for locals and vacationers for a legendary year.
Today, Swell continues as a roaming pop-up party organized by one of the founders, Michael Walker. I spoke with uber-chic Walker about the upcoming event at Asbury Lanes.
TBP: How did Swell originally come to be?
Walker: I was working with the Asbury Boardwalk project when Madison Marquette and the amazing Gary Mottola first took it over. I was able to be a part of the re-opening of the Beach Bar and when I first got a taste of the bar business.
Years later, Tim Scott (owner of Swell accessories on the boardwalk) and Janine Cincerulli (owner of Sea Grass restaurant) and I wanted to create a bar that was different and high energy. We also wanted it not to involve a cover charge and offer cheap drinks by the beach.
Swell was around as a bar on Kingsley Avenue (currently Porta) for one super-fabulous year. We all had so much fun. Tim, Janine and I loved and adored our customers. We thank them for all the kind emails and letters. They will always be the best.
We miss Swell terribly but having pop up parties like the one later this month helps the fun and gay life continue in town.
TBP: What is a Swell pop-up party?
Walker: We love the idea of an all-evening gay destination. The night starts with the legendary Gay bowling. Then at 10 pm, the amazing DJ Mick Hale will start to spin. We have four super-hot dancers – both boys and girls – plus video film star Brenden Cage. At midnight, the sensational Chantel Curtis performs.
There really is something for everyone at a Swell party. We are a modern gay night. Everyone gay, straight and undecided is welcome. I promise you will have fun.
There is no place like Asbury Lanes for a party. “The Lanes” is an Asbury Park institution. Everything about it is perfect – the staff, the decor, the music. It has always been my favorite place in town. I fell under the spell of Juicy Jenn the first time I met her and it has never changed.
TBP: I am just crazy for Jenn. As the organizer of Swell events you have seen it all. I insist on some dish.
Walker: The best part about Swell was that it was the great leveler – it catered to everyone. We had sexy gay guys and girls, Snooki look-alikes, straight couples, in-cognito “A” list celebrities – just about everyone in town came for a visit and had a great time.
Swell was all a little too much, in the best way possible. The music was a little too loud, the drinks were a little too strong, the bartenders were a little too hot. It was all good clean fun. Everyone came and got their sexy back. All my stories are too naughty but if you come to the party on the 28th and buy me a drink I will tell you a few whoppers.
Search “Swell” in Asbury Park on Facebook for updates about the party at Asbury Lanes, Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 to 2 pm; $5 cover. Gay bowling begins at 7 pm; $10 for shoes and pizza. “Like” the Lanes on Faceplace… err, Facebook.