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Tent Flaps Are Up At Circus Drive-In

Iconic restaurant opened Tuesday for 58th season

You know it’s spring in Wall Township when you can smell the onion rings while driving down Route 35.

The , that township mainstay and harbinger of warmer weather, opened Tuesday for its 58th season.

While Richard Rose Jr., son of co-owner Richard Rose Sr., put up the letters below the restaurant’s iconic neon clown sign announcing the tent flaps were up shortly after 11 a.m., Olivia Cioco, 3, was served one of the first grilled cheese sandwiches of the season.

“With a Sprite,’’ she said, proudly raising her cup.

Olivia’s grandmother, Dawn Cocio of Spring Lake Heights, was kind enough to give the 3-year-old a ride to the opening, along with Olivia’s little brother, Alex.

Richard Rose Sr. said he hopes to see a lot more of Olivia, Dawn, Alex and lots of other longtime customers return for his second full season in charge of the restaurant.

“We’re trying to perk this place up a little bit,’’ Rose, of Sea Girt, said. “This is s a neat place and people should want to come here.’’

Tweaking the menu, making minor alterations, adding specials and generally sprucing up the Wall Township landmark is the main course for Rose and his crew.

, Rose added several new menu items to the restaurant’s menu. Most will make a return this year, with the exception of hot dog sliders, which proved unpopular, Rose said.

But no worry about the longtime menu items like the  “Lion Tamer” or the “Wild Animal,’’ which will continue to be served as they have for more than 50 years, Rose said.

Rose said he has no intention of removing or altering the restaurant’s mainstays, which people count on year after year. Rose is was cognizant that the community expects the Circus Drive-In to remain largely unchanged, and that’s the way they’re going to find it, he says. But the new owner does want to bring back a little of the restaurants original 1950s-era luster, he said.

To that end, Rose said he has added three “cruise nights” to this season’s itinerary, taking place the second Tuesday of June, July and August. There will be more than 40 classic cars rolling into the Circus, he said, along with a deejay for four hours, spinning classic music.

New specials this year include a “Freedom Fry Tuesday,’’ where fries are buy one/get one, as well as a Monday “Circus Chill,” special. The Chill is a milkshake/ice cream treat roughly equivalent to Dairy Queen’s popular “Blizzard,’’ Rose said.

“We’re refining things, just tweaking things so that we can make this a little better place for everyone,’’ Rose said. “We’re trying to make it an event for people.’’

Michael Davis April 03, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Can't wait to go best place for sea food and good old burgers !
Chuck Hessinger April 03, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Hope the soft shell crabs are sill on the menu. Have you renovated the bathrooms???
Kathy Dweck April 03, 2012 at 09:46 PM
ME TOO on garlic bread! Onion Rings!
none of yobusiness April 04, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Damn your making me hungry!
Guntoter66 April 04, 2012 at 12:31 PM
I was driving from Leonardo to Wall to hang out at the Circus, in the early 60's. The cars we drove were all "customized" but "Cruise Nights" hadn't been defined yet.
John Swift April 04, 2012 at 01:16 PM
This place place gets worse and worse every year!
bayboat April 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Comin' soon for the crab cakes!
rose barton April 05, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Ok.someone tell me where is this cool place?Im in Arizona...
Marc LeVine April 10, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Where adults can eat like kids and feel young again. This is the official start of Spring. Love the Bar-be-cue chicken dinner and the soft shell crab sandwich. Peanut butter pie for dessert is delicious.
teresa hegerich July 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Was there today. My husband loved his ice cream. My ceasar salad had a little too much dressing,but otherwise fine. Our waitress was wonderful. Bathrooms were pleasantly clean.

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