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Crews demolish Wall Township’s iconic Circus Drive-in diner

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WALL TOWNSHIP -

An iconic Monmouth County diner is no more.

Demolition crews have torn down the Circus Drive-In in Wall Township. The property was recently bought by new owners, and the diner shut down. 

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.

RELATED: Circus Drive-In, a Wall Township landmark, sold
RELATED: Former employees of iconic restaurant gather for photo

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 restaurant.

Many former customers came out to the site during the demolition to pay their respects and to grab a memento of their time there.

It was put up for sale by the most recent owners in 2016, and was bought by a shopping center developer. Customers and former employees had rallied to save the diner, but their efforts made no difference.

Greg Lertch, whose demolition company was selected for the project, told the Asbury Park Press that everyone said the same thing: "It's sad to see it go."

The Circus Drive-In sign with the clown will remain standing until further notice. There was no specific word just yet on what the land will be used for in the future.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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