Wall’s Circus Drive-in clown sign coming down
Ever heard the old expression “waiting for the other show to drop?” Picture you’re in an apartment with someone living above you. They come home from work and you hear a loud thud of a work boot hitting the floor above you. You wait. You wait. Then that second boot drops.
Well the other shoe drops in Wall Township after all this waiting possibly on Friday. The Circus Drive-in closed in 2017 after being beloved for generations. In 2018 the building that housed the restaurant was demolished.
But the crazy-looking clown staring out from behind the giant sign stood as a reminder of what was once there. It stood through the 2020 election. It stood through the pandemic. Like a silent guardian over the memories people hold fondly.
Soon that’s all they’ll be left with.
This week the neon tubing of the sign was taken down. And soon, possibly on Friday according to nj.com, the big sign itself is finally going away.
What’s to become of this practically sacred 96 square foot Route 35 landmark? For now it will head for a storage facility. If you’re from this part of New Jersey to just throw it out seems like spitting in your mother’s eye.
Township administrator Jeff Bertrand says, “Most people consider it a landmark of Wall Township, one we don’t want to see go away and the owners didn’t want to see go away.”
So they’re going to keep it. They just don’t yet know where or how. Bertrand says a lot of people have had ideas, some crazier than others.
Deputy Mayor Dan Becht was a frequent diner there with a soft spot in his heart for the joint. He said, “The Circus sign reflects its rich history with Wall and for generations of Shore visitors. I’m still missing the clam strips and chowder!”
There’s another fan of the former eatery. Our own traffic reporter Tom Rivers, who might just have a touch of coulrophobia.
“I’ll be honest,” he told me. “I liked the food better than that clown. But I hope they’re not just throwing it away. Hopefully it will find a good home!”
Then he wondered if that clown ever had a name. To be honest, every time I read anything about Circus Drive-in I never once remember seeing a name attached to it.
I mean in Asbury Park there was that very famous face named Tillie. The creepy clown of Middletown (also on Route 35) is called Calico. So is there a name for the Circus Drive-in clown? Did he really go 60 years without one?
If so, maybe that’s where they could start the process of what to do with him. Have a naming contest. Maybe display it at Wall Speedway while taking suggestions? Could even work out for a permanent home.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.