The six month-long contest seeking a name for the GLBT-friendly bar planned for the former Adriatic Restaurant location (1409 Kingsley Street) has ended sweetly thanks to two Ocean Grove residents.

“We received three thousand ideas from locals and visitors,” said John McGillion, owner of the building as well as Johnny Mac’s House of Spirits on Main Street.  “And after a lot of thought, we chose ‘Candy Bar’ as the name of the new bar.” [more below]

It is always a party at Johnny Mac’s on Main Street. Winners were announced for the “Name This Bar” contest Wednesday, Oct. 17.  (Photo courtesy of Johnny Mac’s)

McGillion and his team conducted informal focus groups among colleagues and customers to sort through the thousands of entries submitted since he purchased the property in April.

“Everyone all around liked ‘Candy Bar’,” said McGillion, who also owns a nightclub in Brooklyn named “Sugarland.”  “We all thought it was cute and fun and welcoming.  The name also fits with everything we are doing and have planned.”

The name “Candy Bar” was submitted by Ocean Grove residents Mick Hale and his partner Mike Davenport who will share the $500 prize.

“Everyone likes to look at eye candy or good looking people when they go out,” said Hale.  “The name is a play on that idea and has a pop to it.  I can’t wait to see what the owners do with the name.”

The exact plans for the former Adriatic are still being reviewed however McGillion’s vision for the property includes the construction of a five-story building, with the top three floors serving as an upscale hostel with 48 affordable rooms for rent.  The first and second floors would include a restaurant, lounge, game room and bar for the GLBT demographic with “lots of outdoor space to enjoy the ocean air.”  Current plans also include a 16 foot setback from the street for sidewalk dining.

“The hostel will be a place for people who cannot afford $150 a night to stay in a great city,” said McGillion.  “Community living with great amenities in a gentle atmosphere – the world is smaller and more sophisticated today and the new property as well as the YMCA building on Main Street are being designed to be an extension of that.”

McGillion will advertise the Candy Bar internationally to attract young travelers to Asbury Park.

“It will be great to drive my mom down the street, point out the sign and tell her I named that place,” said Hale, a DJ at Georgie’s and Paradise.  “Asbury Park has the potential to become the go to spot for the entire gay community.  I would love to be able to say I named the bar that everyone goes to and talks about.”

Asbury Park resident and realtor Tom McCarthy submitted the winning name, “This n That” for the McGillion-owned bar formerly known as “The Cove” in Brooklyn.  Another resident submitted almost 100 name ideas and was rewarded with an informal $100 prize “for effort.”

For more about Johnny Mac’s from TheBPlot, click here.