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Jersey Shore’s iconic Circus Drive-In for sale — Can fans keep it open?

The Circus Drive-In in Wall Township
The Circus Drive-In in Wall Township (Bud McCormick)

WALL — A Jersey Shore landmark may have served its last burger.

The Circus Drive-In on Route 35 is up for sale or lease by owner Chuck Kavinsky after 62 years in business, according to Senior Vice President Gerard Norkus of Harold Wien Real Estate.

Norkus said a “For Sale” sign went up about a week ago along with a post on Facebook — and that got a flood of attention.

“The anticipation was that the Circus Drive-In time had come and gone and that a buyer would recognize that the highest and best value or use of the property would be to redevelop it.”

The Circus Drive-In in Wall Township
The Circus Drive-In in Wall Township (BUd McCormick)

“We signed the listing papers a couple weeks ago and we got the sign up a week ago,” said Norkus.

Since then, however, many people have asked if they could buy the iconic restaurant and continue to operate the business, according to Norkus. “It remains to be seen what will happen.”

He said that since the restaurant is closed for winter it could conceivably open again without missing a beat.

“A lot of that would be grandfathered in. It would just be a change of ownership but basically the same operation,” Norkus said, adding that the facility is still in tact.

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“He would consider a sale but that’s not what (the owner) would prefer,” Norkus said. He’s had one serious discussion with a potential buyer.

The property is listed at 1.64 acres and can be leased for $200,000 per year.

Samantha Josephine, who describes herself as a former assistant manager for the Circus on her Facebook page, wrote that she hopes someone will continue to operate the restaurant.

“‘Heartbroken’ doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel. This place is my home. The circus crew is my family,” she wrote.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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