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Posted on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Ann Arbor's Blimpy Burger to close in August; What's next?

By Lizzy Alfs


Blimpy Burger is closing on Division Street in August and it's unclear what's next for the iconic restaurant.

Joseph Tobianski |

Fans of Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger have several weeks left to order a triple burger and fries.

But after the iconic Ann Arbor restaurant closes in mid- to late-August, it’s unclear when people will be able to satisfy their Blimpy Burger craving again.

“There’s no doubt that we will be closed a month or two at least, maybe three,” said owner Rich Magner. “I would have liked to transition much quicker than that, but it is what it is.”


Customers can order double, triple, quad or quint burgers at Blimpy Burger.


Magner has to vacate the Blimpy Burger building at 551 S. Division St. by Aug. 31. By purchasing adjoining parcels that includes the Blimpy Burger property, the University of Michigan plans to build a 600-bed graduate residence.

That means Blimpy Burger will have to close sometime in mid- to late-August so Magner and his employees can pack up equipment and vacate the building. Magner has not set a date for Blimpy’s last day of business.

“Sometime mid-month we’re going to have to make a move in terms of shutting down,” he said. “I have to figure out how much time we’re going to need.”

What’s next for the 60-year-old restaurant is unclear; Magner mentioned starting a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the cost of renovations at a new space, and he’s in the early stages of negotiations for two spaces in the downtown area.

But, he added: “I will still entertain other things right until I sign something.”

Although Magner was hoping to avoid a time lapse between Blimpy’s closure and relocation, he said he’s looking forward to a short break. For Blimpy’s staff, it might mean finding temporary employment, he said.

Magner told in May the vibe at a new Blimpy Burger location would stay the same, but he’s toying with new business ideas — such as catering and adding salads or soups to the menu. Ideally, Magner said he would like to have more seats and dining space.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Mon, Aug 19, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

I Love Blimpy Burgers, I Want One Right Now


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

Ypsilanti still has plenty of room in downtown and in depot town for these folks. Especially near EMU.

Matt Krause

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

They should put the new Blimpy on Huron where the old (terrible) Papa Johns was.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Erm.. that's razed now. Going to be another student apartment building.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

I am thinking of renting a room at the new grad dorm and running my own version of blimpy burger out of it. I'm thinking I'll call it Crazy Nick's Eminent Domain Burger Hope my neighbors don't mind a little grease smell.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

that grad residnece is going to be baller

Ryan Munson

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

I think they should just open the French concept:

Tom Joad

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Maybe once a year you might give yourself over to a big, greasy burger. Go ahead, get it out of your system. Fact is, beef production is taking a significant toll on the earth. Livestock dedicated to beef production contribute a sizable chunk of greenhouse gas emissions with the release of methane, which is ten times as potent as CO2. Huge swaths of Amazonian rain forest are yearly decimated to increase beef production to feed a growing world population that wants to eat like Americans do. Is there anything at all healthful looking in that photo? white bread, high saturated fat beef, artery-clogging fat french fries. NO THANK YOU. You may refuse to acknowledge the truth but burgers and fries aren't good for either you or the planet.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

"Is there anything at all healthful looking in that photo? white bread, high saturated fat beef, artery-clogging fat french fries." You have *no idea* what you are talking about. None! Those are not artery-clogging fat french fries. Those are delicious lightly breaded scratch made onion rings. I know of no others like them in the area.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Some people stand in line for 10 or 20 minutes and then, when it is their turn to order, they don't know what they want. "Do you want anything from the deep fryer?" "uhhhh... let me see. I, uh. Umm.... Maybe." "Do you want anything from the deep fryer?" "I want a cheeseburger with swiss!" "I didn't ask that. I asked if you want anything from the deep fryer. The answer is yes or no." And after everyone laughs at them, they complain that people were rude to them. Love it.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

At least their customer service skills are transferrable to somewhere like Comcast or a Secretary of State office.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

I think you pegged it right there, Nicholas.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Guess you had to be there.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

If I want soup or salad, Panera Bread and its imitators have us pretty well covered. However, there is only one place around here where you can get a 5-patty burger with a side of deep-fried vegetables. It's bad enough that the U has chosen to destroy part of our city's heritage, we don't need the owner of Blimpy to destroy whatever's left.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

i lived a block away from there for two years and never went in. dirty greasy food was the invention and obsession of prior generations. sometimes the burger past should just stay the burger past...


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Get an entrepreneur's grant from the investment arm of the UM Regents. Set up a Blimpy franchise in every rival college town. With two-fer-one specials on game day. Trained to deal with the volumes of hot air emminating from UM staff The Wolverines will be at the Rose Bowl in no time - their hosts left behind, unwittingly suffering the ill effectsof the excess methane that has mysteriously filled their stadium.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

I wish Blimpy the best, however I only ate there once, in 1975. Greasy burger would be a better name for the burger. Needless to say, I never returned, nor will I go whether Blimpy finds a spot. The only burgers worse are McDonald's.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

Actually, i think when Rich took over they started getting meat from Knight's Market, so the quality went up in that regard, and the burgers became less greasy.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

This is messed up! Never ever thought it would come to this, U of M should be ashamed!


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

Actually the person who should be ashamed is the person who sold out to UM and left these people holding the burger. Money talks.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

They'll delete your comment for saying this. Be careful. This is UofM town. supports the UofM.

The Picker

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

At one time they only served beverages from a bubbler. Now they have all kinds of name brand liquids. Was that progress ? or Blasphemy ?


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:21 a.m.

I worked at this place back in the early seventies. Jim the owner was much like the present head man in charge, happy to have a profit at the end of the day without any trouble. I think the banter back and fourth between employees is where the satirical/abusive treatment of customers came from. I remember one occasion when things came to a grinding halt (no pun intended ). It was on a football Saturday with the usual loyal group lined out the door, just before game time when this slightly intoxicated customer forgot his place and chimed in with something clever durring the usual employee banter, unrelated to placing his order and was put in check. I do remember after much laughter and applause of approval of the employee response, putting customers in their place quickly became the norm. Keeping folks focused and the line moving was very important if not the most important skill for the grill person to learn. The nerve of some people to get in our line and not know what they want by the time they are asked, "What the hell you want"? Should there not be a quick response from the menu reader it was appropriate to say something like ...." Ok.....Pay attention to the... NEXT PERSON IN LINE!" I would hope this place could reopen without a 90 day break. Then again...the heart cath lab could use the time to catch up.

Stuart Brown

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:20 a.m.

Good riddance to Blimpy Burger. The owner is clearly not even doing the absolute minimum he should be if he is serious about keeping the place open. The former owner who cashed out over a million dollars appears to be not so much as lifting a finger to save the place; if the owner/former owner don't care, why should any of the customers care? Time to move on--abusing customers was always a part of the culture this business promoted; I stopped going there a long time ago. I detect a bit of "Stockholm Syndrome" in some of the comments here--as if the place is special because they abuse their customers.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

I went there once. rude staff. mediocre food. Glad to see it gone. Good riddance.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

Move to Ypsi!!!!


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

We've got the original Roy's and now Elevation Burger not too far away that appears to focus on locally sourced ingredients. Going to try it today!


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:40 a.m.

a2grateful said it well: "- Limited seating with unlimited nastiness from employees behind the counter;- " And as for HENRYK's, "My thoughts are with the workers who will get layed (sic) off. The lady who has been there so many years." You mean the "lady" who has pretty much single-handedly created a cult of customer abuse? Search for past articles, and you will find one written by a dad who got off on the abuse his son was subjected to by the staff. I couldn't believe it! I'm not going to go back and check right now, but IIRC, my critique of the staff's overall negative attitude got at least 15 more "thumbs-up" than "thumbs-down." I don't recall when Rich took over, but I remember gluing up some wood signboards for the business back in the 70s, way before Rich bought it, and the abuse started. So much nicer back then, without the "Abuse Chic."


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

The "abuse schtick" began long before Rich owned the place - there were several "abuse ladies" manning the grill in the late 60s. That routine has been going on forever!

Jessica Webster

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

Have you been there recently? The ordering instructions are now spelled out on the wall and the staff has been much more patient and polite than they were in the mid-to-late 90s. The only time I've seen someone reprimanded in recent memory was when they were using their phone in line, and even then it was just a gentle reminder of the rules.

Usual Suspect

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 4:46 a.m.

At Ed Debevic it's funny and creative. At Blinpy's it's just plain rude and obnoxious.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:31 a.m.

The abuse is part of the schtick of Blimpy. Only Blimpy virgins don't know of the coming abuse, period. It (the abuse) is part of the reason people go there. Think Ed Debevic's Chicago.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

I know it is not always possible, but when in business, it is best to own the building.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

Yeah.. looks like UM has figured that one out!


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:16 a.m.

I hope he finds a location that works for him, but the Kickstarter concept is not realistic.

Susanne Brace

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:26 a.m.

Why not? Kickstarters can have surprising results.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

Hamburgers we can get many places. My thoughts are with the workers who will get layed off. The lady who has been there so many years. Hope they all land on their feet better than before.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Really? Where can I get a quint?


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

Some of the best stomach bombs I have ever had.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

Smart would have been to negotiate a place in the food court inside of the Student Union.... My bet is they paid him a couple of million and why take a risk when you can retire...


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:12 a.m.

ezbngreen - He did not own the building, he got nothing from the purchase.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

They? Who is they?

Seasoned Cit

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

I heard that they were going the way of ZingTrain and were going to run classes on how to make life miserable for customers. Or the plans were to send the staff to couple NYC delies to hone their skills in abruptness.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

I liked the idea about catering. You can get abused at your own location.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Since the funds from buying the building went elsewhere, I am sure he is scrambling for the funds to put down a deposit, and do the renovations required for a building. Typically building out a building can take 8 to 12 weeks and I doubt any building owner would forgo rent, even for Blimpy for that long. If he had solid business results, then maybe one of the local banks would provide a loan, but the amount of evidence you need to secure a loan now for a business is crazy, and it will probably take him a month just to pull together the information required. Property is not cheap, the area he probably wants to be in is small, and the number of choices will be even smaller. I doubt anyone is willing to give him a break, they assume he has to be rolling on dough, given the lines. I really doubt he is dragging his feet, running the place has to be a full time job and finding a loan is a full time job and finding the right place to move to is a full time job and... I suspect he needs a couple more months just to get all the pieces pulled together.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

It seems that U of M didn't use eminent domain to get the land. Anyone knows?

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

The U threatened to use eminent domain to seize neighboring properties.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

I don't think the U has used eminent domain to buy ANY land recently. The threat is always there, however, and that usually compels a sale.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

That is correct. They bought the land from the widow of the original owner of Blimpy Burger. Eminent domain was not an issue here.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

Surely a food cart would be a fine solution

Nick Danger

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

What the U wants the U gets. Landmarks and Icons are not inportant to the University.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

I can't see any grad student, wanting to start their life and perhaps a family, interested in living in sardine can style dorms. UM is eyeing the out of state (foreign) tuition gold mine at the expense of Ann Arbor and ultimately Michigan.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

The U needs more $1000.00 bedrooms and meters for revenue for overpaid staff

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:38 a.m.

And the U said they were prepared to seize the properties if the owners did not sell.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

The U purchased the land with a generous offer to the owner. Blimpy Burger is (was) just a leasee and that lease is ending. Don't blame the U.

Rob Pollard

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

"I would have liked to transition much quicker than that, but it is what it is." What does that mean? Seriously, I don't understand. He's known for over half a year he need to move by Aug 31st, but I haven't seen evidence in multiple stories that there has been much planning (e.g., setting a closing date; starting the fundraising he says he needs; making transition plans with his workers). He can do what he wants with his business; it is his. But sentiments like "looking forward to a break" and not even starting his fund-raising campaign yet (which he said he needed to manage the transition) indicate it will be quite a while (i.e., well more than three months) before Blimpy's opens again--if ever, under this owner.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

Actually he has known for a lot longer than six months that his Lease ended on August 31st. With no options to renew the Lease, he had to assume he was gone regardless of the fact the owner sold the building. Been going to Blimpy's for years but I think this may be the end.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

This is my sense from the article as well. Can anyone do some digging and find out if Blimpy is for sale?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Welcome to Blimpy Burger? - Limited menu featuring unlimited saturated fat; - Limited seating with unlimited nastiness from employees behind the counter; - Limited business model with unlimited customer loyalty. Welcome to Blimpy Burger. . .

Audion Man

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

Have you ever been there? I think this nasty staff angle is blown completely out of proportion. One or two staff members may do a bit of schtick, but that is all it is and nothing more. If it offends your delicate sensibilities, there is a simple solution. Stay home.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Geez, no one is forcing you to go.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

My Quint mocks your negativity.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Don't like it? Don't go there, a2g! The real Blimpy fans understand and appreciate the unique atmosphere and tasty menu.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

Sounds like the owner is ready for a break, or maybe even retirement - he's been running that place for a long time. Be nice to see it someplace where parking is more convenient, and FREE - which is a pipe dream anywhere near downtown or campus, so who knows?!

Hugh Giariola

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

"There's no doubt that we will be closed a month or two at least, maybe three," = Never reopening.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

agreed. sad but true.

Jack Gladney

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Oh, the drama. Please Mr. Blimpy, please! Do not leave us this way. For where then shall we find fried ground animal products set upon a bun made only of the finest ground wheat and topped with various and sundry condiments (cheese extra)? Alas, alas for dread fills our hearts as comes that August day that for so long the tired souls of this tree lined city at the banks of the River Huron have feared. Leave us not, lest we should perish.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

:) to both of you.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

For I have sought and sat on the throne of many hearts desire. Is here that my mind wanders to places I have been as I hear grumbling below my weakened heart. Like a bursting fruit I let out what I have so urgently been holding in. My offering is not for the faint hearted as I weep for the end.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Seems to be lacking in the urgency department.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

The real urgency would be disambiguation.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

The best place for them would be where the old Oriental Express and Sake Bomb Depot used to be. 707 Packard area across from Bell's pizza. They would be close to campus, close to the athletic buidlings, and still right smack next to campus.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 11:29 a.m.

Good idea!


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

@Johnny - It is overrated and overpriced, like most restaurants in A2, but it could be LESS so if they relocated away from downtown/campus area, say in Westgate Mall or vicinity, or that little mall where Trader Joe's is - lots of free parking at Westgate, though not so much near Trader Joe's it would still be more convenient than current location. And the rent might be cheaper so they could focus on product or maybe lower prices.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

@ Cynic, Have you been to the current location? I hardly call that convenient. I talked to some out of towners who went there this weekend, and their commeents were "over rated" and not really close to anything else. Not like you can stop in and have a beer some place close by now.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

That location is convenient only for students - congested and no parking.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

Ruth Reichl used to live there... pricey


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

Salads? Soups? No Way! Burgers and fried stuff. That's what Blimpy Burger is all about. If you are concerned about cholesterol go somewhere else.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 10:50 a.m.

They can decide to sell whatever they choose and consumers can buy whatever they choose - unless they relocate to NYC and Nanny Bloomberg gets involved!

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

I'm unclear why they can't do both.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Rich will be fine. Blimpy Burger will be fine. Stop speculating and go buy a burger before it closes. You'll get a chance to stop typing and talking, and you will be simultaneously supporting the transition of a local landmark.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

....and don't forget your future doctor bills after eating his stuff. Flame away!!! :)


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

What's next? How about lower cholesterol results?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Why does Magner assume he is entitled to any community money to transition his business? (Yes, I realize this wasn't his choice) It seems reasonable to think Blimpy should have excess revenue to cover unexpected costs and then some if proper accounting were being used - their food is not inexpensive. It just drives me crazy that some owners think they can reap benefits when business is good but when they get the short end of the stick they are unwilling to spend a cent.

Lynn Liston

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

A2ron, I've been around enough small, locally owned, independent businesses to learn that just because someone owns a business doesn't mean that they are by any stretch wealthy, or even in possession of the extra funds needed to move the business to a new location. That "excess revenue" that you refer to so casually is what most business owners think of as their hard earned profit or "modest living". Small business owners don't operate to build up huge savings, they operate to provide a living for themselves and their families. They don't make more than a career employee, and often less. If a popular business thinks that they might be able to stay in business through some creative crowd sourcing, good for them. It's better than giving up on their business.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

If Rich et al require a little economic push to get a new space configured, so be it. I'll throw in some money. It's not "entitled". It's asking community members who appreciate an independent business to contribute towards continued operation. That's why we are a community. Blimpy Burger has certainly contributed to Ann Arbor. There's no reason why we can't be neighborly and help them out.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

I don't think Kickstarter qualifies as evidence of an attitude of "entitlement". This business is losing its lease. It didn't expect that given the many years of being at that location. With the economy having been the way it was but lease rates rising due to building in the City, it's not surprising that it will be expensive to relocate. It's not simply going to a new building and putting up an open sign. He has to get his food license amended, he will need equipment that meets all the latest codes and requirements, he will need to renovate which means permits, fees, and inspections as well as contractor costs. Restaurants usually live lean and this will be hard. He needs to get a loan and it's not easy to get one these days even for established businesses. Plus, there will be closing costs. (Though I would have thought some bank would have welcomed him). Wealthy actors use Kickstarter, rich businesses are now using it to get around the security laws, researchers are using it to fund research rather than submit grants to funding agencies, why can't this fellow use Kickstarter. No one has to contribute to his business and, normally, the contributors get something in return. Kickstarter really isn't a charitable operation. People fund something because they will get something. Seems very American to me.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

Nicholas. THe U did not "seize" this money, the owner of the property (the founder of Blimpy's) chose to sell her highly valuable piece of property!!!! When you buy real estate, pay taxes for years, you get to choose to sell it if you desire!!!!


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Nicholas, I can't answer that and I certainly see your point. I think my point was more the reaction to things that are out of our control: fair or not. I say it's the business owner's decision on how he or she reacts and the money they accepted when business was good front the costs that are associated with doing business in a risky climate.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

Why does the University assume they are entitled to seize private property with taxpayer money?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

Hope they're able to find a new space soon, and that it's far enough from our anti-local business friends at the University.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

@johnnya2: I think you have me confused with the people wondering why the owner can't just come up with the cash to do a move into a new location. What you describe is common in small businesses - they just don't generate enough profits, even if they have a strong following. As you say, the owner bought himself a job. Hopefully he has made enough to put away some savings.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

@ Nicholas, I think you have a highly distorted view of how much this business is worth. It is the same thing that people say about all long time operations. If he was as busy as you seem to think he is, he would easily have money saved up over the years of owning the place to move his location, or to get a loan (he would just need to open his books to the bank). Of course, i think you would find that if he opened the books Mr Magner bought himself a JOB, not a business.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

"why on earth would you move a burger joint far away from 30,000 students?" Because of 30,000 students.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

No doubt that townies love the place, but why on earth would you move a burger joint far away from 30,000 students?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

They do quite well without the students. The townies love the place.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Why on earth would they want to move far away from all the students?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

I remember when Blimpy would not serve soda because they didn't want to be like most fast food places that mainly subsist on the tremendous soda profits. They wanted to make their money on the food.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

Can you suggest another?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

I worked there for six years in the early Eighties and Krazy Jim did try having a soda dispenser before the time I worked there, but the Pepsi guy did something to p*ss Jim off so badly that he never entertained the idea again. That's why they didn't have pop until Rich took over.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

Do you really think that's the reason they resisted installing self serve soda machines? Really?

the other guy

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

Memory is interesting...and eating at Blimpy's has become a nostalgic experience. However, the reality of the dining experience and food is not nostalgic, romantic or even pleasurable. Actually, it's not even a good hamburger compared to Casey's and many other options available in Ann Arbor. I doubt that the restaurant generates enough income to justify the investment necessary to move. My expectations are that it will close on August 31st....forever.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

You don't have the like it. The burger is ground fresh daily, on site. A lot us think they are excellent, and the line out the door would agree. People come there for one thing - the burgers. Not the beer, not the drinks. Not the sitting around to chit-chat. The volume of customers is a fact that demonstrates their excellence. Casey's has good burgers. But they are like countless other broiled burgers.

An Arborigine

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Likely a bit of sticker-shock over the costs to lease space downtown. The west side would welcome the new Blimpy location!

Hot Sam

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

"""Oh, a Blimpy truck! How cool would that be""" And next to a good beer???

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Oh, a Blimpy truck! How cool would that be.

Hot Sam

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:52 a.m.

How about a Blimpy Truck outside the Wolverine Tap Room?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

It does seem as thought Magner is dragging his feet. You would think he would have scrambled to be up and running by September when the Fall semester starts. I hope he finds a place soon so his staff can get back to work.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

@Tano: Money is part of it. That's why he's talking about starting a Kickstarter campaign..Magner was paying a low lease rate on this property for a long time, while rental rates around downtown and campus have shot up. He's also worried about the cost of a restaurant build-out.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

The business owner has leased this location. He did not get any proceeds from the sale of the building.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

I am guessing the business is not as profitable as most of you all think it is. Magner has not saved any money (he admitted int he beginning he could not afford to buy the property). I doubt you will see Blimpie Burger with this owner again.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Hey, look at Tios. Everyone was v=crying in their beer and taking up collections for them and they end up in the high rent district smelling like a rose. He can hope can't he?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

I didn't see any reference to money being the reason for the delay....

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

Got a million+ bucks he can borrow to buy a space? How about a few hundred G's to float a new lease and relocation?

Tim Hornton

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

This is what happens when the big bad liberal school chews up and spits out the little capitalist guy just trying to make a buck and provide a quality product to the masses. Shame on all you hypocrit professors at UM, you're the ones shutting down the mom and pop store here, not Walmart. At least Walmart has junk worth buying too! You professors help a student rack up $75,000 in student loan debt with interest for a degree in women's studies or sociology. Who is ripping off who?


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

UM didn't offer Rich anything, they offered the property owner an amount that couldn't be refused


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

Professors, really? What do they have to do with this? I hope you're not under the incredibly mistaken impression that this University is professor-governed. They have NO say. And, by the way, are themselves among the locals who frequent these kinds of restaurants. Get a clue and take your complaints up with the trustees.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

@Jimbo: Kudos, not cudos. Just being elitist....


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Geez! Take a breath and have a donut! What on earth do professors have to do with UM's ongoing land grabs????


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Women's studies degree = job pool for Blimpies employees.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 10:12 a.m.

Nice job Tim....Sounds like you struck a nerve with the Ann Arbor elitists. Cudos!

Usual Suspect

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

Oh no, not the "I found one example and therefore you're wrong in every single case" argument! I have been undone!

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

Usual Suspect, you don't think people with Sociology or Women's Studies degrees get jobs, or have enriched lives? That's pretty random. Do you have any evidence to back that up? I talked to someone the other day who just finished with a sociology degree and is moving on to a new job. She doesn't regret it at all. Both Sociology and Women's (or Gender) Studies are finding work in a variety of areas. Both are something we certainly need in our society. At any rate, back to tasty burgers.

Little Patience

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Hey, if someone wants to "rack up $75,000 in student loan debt" for something like a degree in basket weaving, that is their prerogative. It isn't up to the University to figure out what the earning potential is for that degree. You have to think of that consequence when deciding what your occupation...


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

"...little capitalist guy just trying to make a buck and provide a quality product to the masses. " You are kidding, right?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

If I remember correctly UofM made them a offer they couldn't refuse.That sir IS capitalism

Usual Suspect

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with degrees in Women's Studies or Sociology - unless of course, you don't like women or sociology. " Or if you want a job after you graduate.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Two things: There is absolutely nothing wrong with degrees in Women's Studies or Sociology - unless of course, you don't like women or sociology. The economic challenges faced by small businesses in Ann Arbor are not so much related to the growth of the University (after all, it brings people to the city). The real threats are the large corporations, the predatory capitalists, who undercut the Mom & Pop stores with mass manufactured crap (including food).


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

I wonder how proactive Magner has been to find another location. It's been quite a stretch of time since the closing was announced. You'd think a landlord would love to have a thriving business such as his in their space. He might have enough money saved up to take a short break, but I doubt his employees do, sadly. Of course the real catastrophe will be when the saliva glands of his patrons dry up due to the lack of exposure to his offering.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7 p.m.

Salads or soups at Blimpy Burger?! BLASPHEMY. Hopefully they find a new location soon.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

They've always had a daily soup I think.

Lucas and Kevin

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:01 a.m.

Fingers crossed that they repoen...whatever they plan to serve on the side...

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

That pic above of the cheeseburger and rings is making me hungry!