Route 9 To Get Another Dinosaur

The diner’s dino does not yet have a name. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)
The diner’s dino does not yet have a name. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

BEACHWOOD – Mark Stanfield and his work crew don’t usually get honks from drivers when they are working on a job. But this past Monday they did.

They were putting together Mark’s latest creation, his carefully created handmade Tyrannosaurus Rex, in the corner of the parking lot of the Sandcastle Diner on Route 9 South.

Mark likes dinosaurs. You may remember him as the owner of Empire Masonry, the company that worked on the Bayville dinosaur farther down the road on Route 9 over the years. Stanfield helped get the renovated dinosaur back on its feet late last year.

“It was great to be a part of the one in Bayville,” he said.

He began working on the plans for the new dinosaur several weeks ago.

“At first I was going to put it in my yard,” the Bayville resident said. “Then I thought of John. I’ve done work for John for the past 10 years.”

Shortly after that, he went to breakfast at the Sandcastle Diner in Beachwood and spoke to owner John Agrapides and asked if he would be interested in having a tyrannosaurus rex in his parking lot.

“I said, ‘how about I do one for you?’ ” Stanfield said.

Agrapides said yes. He opened the Sandcastle 31 years ago.

“He sold me on it,” he told The Berkeley Times. “I just thought it was kind of cool.”

 Agrapides said he’s amazed at the attention the new dinosaur is getting, from customers and drivers.

“It’s a hot topic,” he said.

The new dinosaur is markedly smaller than “Bud,” the Bayville dinosaur. He’s made out of cement and rebar.

He will be painted a light green, with some dark brown highlights. His eyes will also be lit at night, just like “Bud,” Stanfield said.

“When it’s painted, it will look really nice,” he said. “We’re still working on it. It will be finished in another week or so. It’s not done yet. It’s a diamond in the rough.”

Stanfield even made the dinosaur’s serrated teeth.

The new dinosaur doesn’t have a name yet. But Stanfield expects that to change.

“Bud” was originally named “Dino.” He has watched over Bayville since taxidermist Will Farrow purchased him from a Sinclair dealer back in 1932. He has survived blizzards, hurricanes, nor’easters and Superstorm Sandy.

But he developed a large crack around his neck in 2015 and many were concerned for his survival. He was out of commission and had to have his head removed.

Dino was moved back to Route 9 late last year. He was perilously close to the right of way previously, which probably accounted for him being whacked so many times by motor vehicles and trucks. Owner Anthony Zangari’s property line ends at the planters in front of the building.

His new neck and face, made of specialized plaster, now face north, rather than directly at Route 9. His “stumps,” as Zangari calls them, have been removed and actual feet installed. He has a new tail, too. He has lighted orange eyes that beam at night.

Have you seen the new dinosaur yet? Any suggestions for a name? Tell us in the comments section.

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Patricia A. Miller began her career in 1984 as a reporter at the Asbury Park Press. She covered a variety of towns in Ocean County and wrote an award-winning column, "Ocean Diary," each week. She later spent seven years at Greater Media Newspapers and served as managing editor of the Edison/Metuchen Sentinel, the Woodbridge Sentinel and the Brick Township Bulletin during that time. Pat spent the last 8 years as a local Patch editor. Pat has won a number of awards during her time as a journalist, including the New Jersey Press Association, the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists and the North Jersey Press Club.