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Iconic circus-themed diner demolished in New Jersey

WALL, N.J.  — It’s no longer a circus in one New Jersey town.

The Circus Drive-In has been a fixture for generations of families heading to the Jersey Shore and nearby residents since 1954. But it only took 20 minutes on Wednesday for an excavator to demolish the diner in Wall Township. (Google Streetview)

The Circus Drive-In has been a fixture for generations of families heading to the Jersey Shore and nearby residents since 1954. Its signature neon sign featuring a huge, smiling clown’s face was a roadside landmark.

The metal white-and-red stripped roof, made to look like an old-fashioned circus tent, survived some of the worst storms to blow ashore. But it only took 20 minutes on Wednesday for an excavator to demolish the diner in Wall Township.

It was put up for sale by the most recent owners in 2016, and was bought by a shopping center developer.

Greg Lertch, whose demolition company was selected for the project, tells the Asbury Park Press everyone says the same thing: “It’s sad to see it go.”