“And just who,” you may well ask, “was J. Franklin Menz? And why is there a statue of him in New Jersey?”
These are, without doubt, very good questions. I drove to the Menz Restaurant in Rio Grande, New Jersey to find out. It turns out that J Franklin Menz was something of a local celebrity in his time and the restaurant he founded is quite a colorful place.
There’s a small yacht in the parking lot. A two-headed calf, chandeliers and heaven-knows-what-else regale patrons. But it’s the gigantic statue of founder J. Franklin Menz himself in the parking lot which is the star attraction.
He sits on top of the air-conditioning unit, smoking an enormous cigar.
Oh yes, and he only has one leg. He’d lost it to cancer as a young man in 1919 (find out more about the man—the legend!—here).
Address: 985 Route 47 South, Rio Grande, NJ