[url id="/shows/jersey_shore/season_2/series.jhtml"]“Jersey Shore”[/url] fame has made its stars the Beatles of South Jersey this summer. But the cast isn’t the only draw for fans making the pilgrimage to Seaside Heights. It seems the T-shirt shop where castmembers made a living during season one, the Shore Store, has also become quite the hotspot.
Shore Store owner Danny Merk told MTV News that people have been flocking to the boardwalk to catch a glimpse of the Situation, Snooki and their pals.
“People from all over the world … a lot of kids came down here from Australia, they want to see it because they go to New York City and it’s so close to New York, they have to make the trip. So, Australia, California all the time, Ireland, Germany, Israel,” Merk said of the show’s international fanbase. “It’s crazy!”
Of course, the Shore Store is cashing in on the increased tourism but the positive buzz has been good for the boardwalk in general.
“It’s busy in here all the time now,” Merk said. “People want to buy little things. But it’s helped all the places on the boardwalk because you can’t just shop at one store. So they’re going to every store, they’re paying for parking, buying a slice of pizza, playing a game. You can’t pay for the exposure we got. Grateful’s not even the word.”
Although the cast is enjoying international fame, it hasn’t made them slackers at work. Now back shooting in Jersey for what will be season three, their boss, Merk, gave them positive reviews.
“They work really hard. They don’t slack much. And there’s always something to do and they try hard,” he said. “They don’t seem like they’ve changed a bit. They seem like the same guys, a little bit nicer clothes, driving a little bit nicer cars — but that’s about it.”
Merk said the show hasn’t made Shore Store a household name yet, but his Seaside home has become a “national monument” since the cast moved in.
“That’s my house they moved into. I moved out and they moved in. Seeing it on TV, it’s crazy!” he said. “It’s weird. I hope they stay there forever.”
Will you make a trek to the Shore Store this summer? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t miss “Jersey Shore” every Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.