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Jersey Shore changed the lives of eight strangers forever. But the MTV series did more than that for the unofficial Jersey Shore cast member, Danny Merk. Since the original reality series ended in 2012, fans are wondering what Merk has been up to. Find out what the owner of the Shore Store and famed shore house does now. 

Danny Merk Shore Store
Danny Merk | MTV

Danny lived in the shore house before ‘Jersey Shore’ started 

Merk’s shore house, complete with a duck phone, smush room, and upper deck, is a guido’s dream playground. Before the house became a pit stop on Jersey Shore fans’ list of sights to see, it was Merk’s actual residence. 

Merk says the opportunity to become part of MTV history came out of nowhere. He was living in the Seaside Heights, New Jersey home for 10 years when scouts approached him for the reality series. “They interviewed me for about two months,” he told Vulture. “Every week they’d have someone come in and check the house. At the very end, [producer] SallyAnn [Salsano] came in, cursing and saying all this crazy stuff. She was nothing like the other people I met.” After asking how quickly Merk could get his belongings out of the house, Merk was out of the house in 24 hours.

‘Jersey Shore’ helped Danny’s Shore Store business 

Since the show’s success, the Shore Store has become a hotspot on the Seaside Heights, New Jersey boardwalk. After the first season of Jersey Shore ended, Merk thought his life would go back to normal. “There’s a million reality shows out there, let’s be honest,” he said. “After the show airs, the next day, [there were] people knocking on my front door and walking on my back deck. It’s not my house anymore — it’s like a museum.” 

Merk says there has been “no downside” to let his business be part of Jersey Shore. “Just about everyone who comes in [to the store] at least buys a T-shirt,” he told Huffington Post. “Once in a while, someone will scream something rude as they go by the store, and sometimes I’ve had spray paint on the front of my door, but the town is busier. The parking lot is always full. [Seaside Heights is] making money. I can only say that Jersey Shore has helped the Jersey Shore big time.” 

Danny also owns and operates Halloween costume shops 

When Merk isn’t running the Shore Store, he runs a slew of Halloween costume stores in Florida. “I literally live in the [Shore Store] from April 15 to Labor Day,” he told HuffPost. “After that, during the offseason, I’m not there as much. My family is in Florida, and they have 17 Halloween MegaStore locations, two of them permanent. One’s in Fort Myers, so I help them out.” 


‘Jersey Shore’: How the Duck Phone Almost Didn’t Make the Reality Show

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Merk is still operating the Halloween-themed stores in Florida. “I hope nobody finds out I do this,” he joked. “They would bust my chops.”