The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has expressed interest in buying an iconic Jersey Shore drive-in with plans to convert it into a vegan restaurant and museum highlighting animal cruelty in the circus.
The animal rights group has offered to purchase the Circus Drive-In in Wall despite the connection between the landmark Monmouth County eatery and the actual circus being tenuous at best.
PETA officials say they saw reports of the restaurant’s sale in the news and thought it was a good opportunity to call attention to the pain of animals in the circus.
According to a news release from the organization, the vision is for a museum “showcasing the capture of wild animals such as tigers and elephants as well as the whips, chains, tiny cages, flaming hoops, and other implements used to dominate them and force them to perform in circuses.”
In addition to the restaurant, PETA says it would offer a snack shop that sells products such as animal crackers that don’t feature captive animals.
“PETA’s vision to showcase the practice of capturing wild animals and training them by intimidation and sheer force would be a modern addition to the Jersey Shore—one that promotes compassion for tigers, elephants, and other animals,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Children would see that the chains and cages in circuses deprive animals of everything that’s natural and important them, from the ability to play and socialize to the simple act of stretching their limbs.”
A realtor representing the property owners says PETA wants a below-market deal, which is not likely to be accepted.
According to the listing broker, Gerard Norkus, a senior vice president at at Harold Wien Real Estate, LLC, the asking price for a long-term ground lease for the property is $200.000. The property is also available for sale at $2 million, he said, but the owner prefers not to sell.
The Circus Drive-In has operated along Route 35 for more than 60 years.