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Posted on Thu, May 30, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Blimpy Burger owner: As closing date approaches, search continues for new location

By Lizzy Alfs


Blimpy Burger has to vacate its current building on South Division Street by Aug. 31.

Joseph Tobianski |

Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger owner Rich Magner is still searching for a new location for the 60-year-old Ann Arbor restaurant, which has to vacate its existing building by Aug. 31.

Magner said he’s looking at a space on East William Street near the University of Michigan’s campus, and one space on the west side of downtown.

“We’re working on it,” he said. “There’s a space that we’re looking at that’s really small, and we’re just struggling to see if we can figure out a way to make it work.”

Magner was notified in late 2012 that he would need to vacate the Blimpy Burger building at 551 S. Division St. when his current lease expires on Aug. 31. Patricia Shafer, the property’s long-time owner and wife of Blimpy Burger’s original founder, Jim Shafer, sold the property to the University of Michigan for $1.075 million in December.

By combining adjoining parcels that includes the Blimpy Burger property, the University of Michigan has plans to build a dormitory for graduate students.

Magner said he’s still hopeful he will find a new location, but said there might be a lapse between when the old Blimpy Burger closes and the new restaurant opens.

“I haven’t lost the confidence, I’m only discouraged because it’s been a tough decision,” he said.

Magner also is toying with new business ideas — such as catering and adding salads or soups to the menu — but said the vibe of the restaurant would stay the same at a new location. Ideally, he said he’d like to have more seats and dining space.

“I definitely don’t mind having a line, but it does snake through the tables right now,” Magner said. “It would be nice if that wasn’t the case. …The biggest thing is we grind our own beef every day, and that will be the same. And the order process will be the same.”

Magner said Blimpy Burger employees would be offered jobs at a new location.

Because the cost of a new restaurant build-out could cost more than $100,000 — a price Magner can’t cover on his own — he’s considering launching a campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

There isn’t an official last day of business at Blimpy Burger’s South Division Street building, but the restaurant has to vacate the space by Aug. 31. Magner said there likely will be a celebration during the restaurant’s last few days in the building.

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


Lizzy Alfs

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 6:03 p.m.

FYI: The Ann Arbor Townie Facebook page today says that Blimpy Burger signed a lease for a space on East William Street. Just got off the phone with Rich, who says that's not true..they haven't even started lease negotiations.

Cameron McLain

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

legends never die.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

@ javajolt1, re: "The. "discourteous service" is a delightful shtick." Sorry, I don't buy that. They are rude and abusive, and they are dead serious, and clearly angry. There is no tongue-in-cheek about it, no "inside joke" BS. Rude and abusive is rude and abusive. Period

Cameron McLain

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

No, if you are courteous then they arent being rude at all. They have a job to do, if you arent ready and cause them to take more time, they reserve the right to tell you to go to the back of the line. They are never very rude. If you think that Im sorry that you probably went there once and tried ordering while talking on your cell phone.....


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Two things: @hmsp. Uhhhh. The. "discourteous service" is a delightful shtick. Ever been to Ed Debevic's in Chicago Looks like there are enough Blimpy Burger fans commenting on this article alone to start a fund to save this place.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

@ Lizzy Alfs, re: "Anyone know if it's always been that way?" No, it has not. That was never the M.O. back in the Crazy Jim days. Although a townie, I am a relative latecomer, as I didn't start frequenting the place until the 70s. I'm not sure who is responsible for the current attitude, but most folks tend to trace it to the employee incorrectly identified in this thread as "Davey." Who knows? And I don't care. Treat me with the tiniest bit of respect, and you'll get a 20%+ tip. Treat me the way the current Blimpy Burger folks treat me, and you've just lost me as a customer. R.I.P.

Jack Gladney

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:36 a.m.

What about the old location of the Selma Cafe? Great location for a burger joint.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

Lots of convenient parking I hear.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

Can't find a spot come to downtown Ypsi, there is a great spot 2 doors down from Abe's Coney Island. 1900 sq ft 800.00 a month. Just open a location in Ypsi, that will give you time to look around A2.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

Thanks for the update! Hope he finds a new property soon. PLEASE!

Dirty Mouth

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

How about on Liberty next at the former Lingerie shop?


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

Rent is absurdly high for that part of town.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Be careful of those closing celebrations. When the Original Red's Rite Spot closed it's Williams St location, decades ago, both my cousin, who worked there, and his mother were briefly arrested when the party went to the street. -:)


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

One of my friends suggested they share space with Frank's Restaurant under Tower Plaza. Frank's can serve breakfast and Krazy Jim's can take over lunch? It's already a restaurant, maybe it could work???


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

how about my basement!


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

If Selma can do it, why not your basement ;-)


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

If Blimpy does find a new home, the price of burgers will go up. Go figure!


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Will it still be "cheaper than food" then?


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Maybe the former studio 4/dream nite club?


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

I'm glad Davey has chased some of you off and shortened the lines. I love her wise cracking.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

Ypsilanti has a few good locals to choose from. Especially a few hungry EMU students would love to have you join them. Cheap locals and taxes too.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

Ypsi city council can always crack a few deals to let someone as good as him into our venue. Then again Ypsi township has some nice locals as well. If they want small I know of an abandoned Taco Bell.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Actually, the property tax RATE is higher in Ypsi city than AA city. I have friends in Ypsi that own homes. And I certainly know the property tax rate in AA city....


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

Wonder if the where Maru used to be (414 E. William) is one of the spots that are being considered--that would be pretty sweet and very close to campus.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Nevermind the extra "the" please. Still wishing for an edit button

Beth S

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

I moved from A2 in 1970 but have been back every year for football. Krazy Jims was always on my list to go to when in town. I went there while I stll was in high school. You remember the High School on State Street which has been torn down sot the U of M could build there. Now Krazy Jims what a shame to see these go. My husband and I knew Jim and his wife very well. Back in 1947 my dad had a restauant on Liberty across from Handicraft furniture called the Don All Grill. It was small but did a good business. I could go on and on about A2 and all the fond memories of living there. I hope they find a good location for the burger place. There is no burger place like Krazy Jims


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

Most of the locations being suggested are great but would require a kitchen build out which is a huge $$ and $ seem to be the lacking component in this situation.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

Culture change: wow, we now live in a world where "retail service" includes catering to the idea that you don't have to go by "house rules" when ordering a hamburger. Funny how such arrogance is really a product of people not knowing how to read and follow simple "ordering instructions" written on a small chalk board. I'm from the In The Know Generation: we think learning instructions which help getting our burger orders right - faster - is actually pretty cool.

Steve Hendel

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Nonsense. This is no fine gourmet dining experience, just a burger joint.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

See, now I think the funny part is how the burger flippers get the customers to do tricks for them. FYI, it wasn't always that way there. Must be a comment on the newer generations.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

No-no- NO! NOT the "west side of town!" Krazy Jim's is just one of some big reasons I've always loved this town. Take that away and they'll be taking away from that attraction / distinction. Also: moving away from the downtown area ADDS to the list of businesses which have made downtown Ann Arbor so convenient and so extensive in "pluses." Younger people have no idea: adults in the 70s could walk to any one of at least FOUR movie houses. An older couple ran the movie theater on So. U - if you took the time to know them, they'd even let you in free sometimes. FOUR movie houses in the downtown /campus area: meant "dinner and a movie" dates were absolutely unbeatable. Hardware stores: I can't count the number of times I needed a single screw or screw driver for some important project at home. Just hopped in the car and drove downtown, I'd be back at home working on my project in 45 minutes - NOT driving to the outskirts and back. Oddball stuff we "just want" (or really need sometimes): who could beat Harry's Army Surplus for those items? Especially if it was a last-minute item for a big camping trip - or that camp lantern to help get through one of those blackouts which lasted for days on end. Need I go on? What about the TWO pharmacies, each of which was accessible via a pleasant walk? You could get prescriptions which today take a significant car or bus ride - and waste time and gasoline. You could also get OTC pain relievers for those occasional headaches, small burns, etc. All those things and more: all "indispensable" BUT GONE NOW. Moving Krazy Jim's to the Outlands to the West is INSANE. 'Nuff said.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

Get in you car people, like you don't already!! Stadium is where it's at, Wolverine Brewing, Crazy Jims and Seva? Sounds good to me. Wish I still lived on the West side for these changes. Downtown is all about raising rates until the only takers are mega floor developers. Sad but true.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

There are still two movie theaters downtown, a CVS and a Walgreens on the way, and you can stop by Bivouac to get ready for that camping trip. I guess there's no hardware store downtown but Stadium's not far away. Even CVS sells some random hardware items.

Vivienne Armentrout

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

As Jack says, the West Stadium area is developing nicely into almost a new downtown - one that fills many daily needs. I'm really sorry to see how the central downtown has lost much of that quality. But one can find a lot of services on West Stadium and North Maple. And we could definitely use a good burger place - other than Knight's and a couple of fast food chains, we don't have one. Try Izzy's for hoagies, though. And there is Taco King, and...


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Krazy Jim's on the West Side wouldn't be Krazy Jim's any more. The campus / student atmosphere has always been a primary defining characteristic of Blimpy's. If it moves out of easy walking distance of all of the central campus student housing then that's entirely out the window. (The same thing goes for Pizza Bob's, by the way.) If you moved Krazy Jim's out to the Stadium Hardware / Nicola's are, then it wouldn't be much different than a Five Guys location. Also, I haven't thought that parking was a problem around the campus and downtown sections of town since the Ann / Ashley structure opened (aside from football Saturdays and Art Fair). You just have to be willing to walk a few blocks.

Jack Eaton

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

@Tru2Blu, the west side of town is not the "Outlands". The commercial district on Stadium is much more convenient for many neighborhood residents than the downtown is. Local businesses, such as Stadium Hardware or Nicola's Books, with abundant free parking and well informed staff serve many of us quite well. On the other hand, rents downtown have become so expensive that only chain stores seem able to afford having a business in that area. Add to the high rents, the traffic congestion and pricey parking and you create a zone that is inhospitable to local customers.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

It took you 45 minutes to go buy a screw? That doesn't sound convenient at all. You can't get to stadium or an ace hardware and back in less than that?


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

But there are WAY more people living on the west side or any of the "outskirts", so that seems to be the place that businesses would want to be.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

@Trublu - Sorry for the confusion! the west side of DOWNTOWN! Like near Ashley Street.

Elaine F. Owsley

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

Would Patricia Shafer be willing to finance the new location? Now that she will have all that money?

Usual Suspect

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

I agree with some commenters and could do without the obnoxious, insulting staff. Sure, they say it wasn't their intention, but if they allow it then they obviously agree with it. If I wanted that environment, I'd go to Chicago and Ed Debevic's where it would at least be fun. Perhaps some of the customers who were treated like dirt through the years might have been potential investors or funding sources for their move now. You never know.

Usual Suspect

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

That's fine. However, I have a process, too. I go to eat somewhere, and if I'm treated like dirt, I don't go back. I do understand that it's Ann Arbor flavor to be too wrapped up in a sense of restaurant snobbery, though. I get it.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

They're not asking much of you. They have a process, and it helps speed things along for all customers. If you're too wrapped up in your sense of entitlement to bother to learn that process, you interfere with that process, which otherwise works efficiently and smoothly. Is it really so hard?

Usual Suspect

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

"if you didn't bother to learn the proper way to order" Oh, well, excuse us. We're only the customers.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

Much has been made of their "obnoxious, insulting staff," but I've never really seen it. It's more of an urban legend than a reality. True, they may be somewhat annoyed with you if you didn't bother to learn the proper way to order, but there's a good reason for that. Oh, and ... Ed Debevic's is the opposite of fun. Manufactured attitude that doesn't go over well. And the food is mostly "meh."


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

How about right by Washtenaw Dairy? I know Affordable Vet Services just moved out of their location on Ashley St. in January. Cheaper rent, right by the Stadium, close enough that people downtown would still walk to it and far enough to the edge of downtown that parking wouldn't be as painful. Or somewhere near 1st and Liberty would be good. Lizzy, do you know if anything is set to replace AFS on Ashley?


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Oh, I don't know. Krazy Jim's in a high-rise may be exactly where this city is heading. That way the density people won't even have to go outside.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Yeah, that whole block across from the dairy (minus Happy's Pizza) is about to get another high-rise dumped onto it. Not a candidate for Krazy Jim's.

Tom Teague

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

Didn't AVS move to make room for the 618 South Main project?

Local Yocal

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

The empty store front on Packard, 1 or 2 doors east of the Blue Front would seem to be a good location.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Yes, Campus Corner will never last! Same for Blue Front and Pizza Bob's. Nobody can last there.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

It's a good location if you don't want your business to survive more than a year or two.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

I think many of the suggestions for locations are missing one of the key ingredients to Blimpy Burger's new home (Actually it was Krazy Jim's ...) you can WALK to and from where they are. Bubba43, I understand what you are saying, even though State and Maynard don't cross, you are suggesting somewhere near perhaps Cottage Inn Pizza? Golly, again, within walking distance. Too bad folks don't recall that there were other hamburger joints in that area "back in the day", one particularly good one at the back of the Shell Station lot on the corner of Liberty and Division. We would WALK there following a workout at the Y at William & 5th, then WALK home (about 2.5 miles to the N side). WALKing, does anyone do that any more? Helps digest a hamburger, you know.

Usual Suspect

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

"You can walk to and from where they are." That depends on where *you* are. They could move just about anywhere and there would be people who could walk to and from where they are.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

Cheese steak pepper bullet.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Edit: Pepper Steak Bullet

Yvo M

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

This is beyond frustrating. I have such fond memories of Blimpy's as a kid and through college. I hope they're successful in their search. I hate to see this go the way of other local, Ann Arbor restaurants like Thano's Lamplighter, The Parthenon or La PiƱata.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

don't get be started on La Pinata...blech


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Ugh, this still sucks, a lot. Really wish we could go back on this one.

Cameron McLain

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Really wish there was a fight to be fought.. Its sad

Vivienne Armentrout

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

I was wondering about the space on Packard vacated by Ann Arbor Subs and Pizza. It is in a small strip mall - not so classy - but it is currently set up as a restaurant, has lots of parking, and is still fairly close to campus. I noticed that Purchase Radio on Hoover is still vacant, but that would require some pretty major renovation. On the other hand, West side location would be great from my perspective.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

I agree that the Purchase Radio location could be promising. It seems like it hasn't been used since Purchase closed in 2007, and it's still within walking distance of campus, close to the old Blimpy location, and has some on-site parking and potential outdoor dining space. I wonder what the owners are planning for it. The only possible problem is that the location is virtually surrounded by University of Michigan properties - they could end up getting bought again eventually.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

@Vivienne - Not sure if he's looked at the Ann Arbor Pizza space. He did say yesterday that his customer base has become a lot less students and it's become more of a destination place for people visiting town or people living on the outskirts.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

It would be interesting to know what they are currently paying for how much space and how that compares to "going rates".


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

Too bad Ms. Shafer sold early. I would have loved to see the university try to go "eminent domain" on that piece of property. Not that they would think twice about doing it.

Jared Mauch

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Purchase radio location

Oscar Lavista

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:06 p.m.

I think he's looking to lease.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

The Herb David Guitar space - probably too big, but with that porch, it would be perfect!


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

Hurry! Time is running out! Only three more months to get abused by the staff!

Usual Suspect

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

"I'm planning a special trip just to save a table." Win!


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

@Lizzy - In the ~25 years I've been going, the heckling/rudeness has changed based on the current staff. Some were drill sergeants, others are more laid back.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

@Brad - that made me laugh. But when I spoke with Rich yesterday, he did say that the heckling employees was never Blimpy's intention. But because the space is so small and people have to pay attention when ordering down the line, employees had to set down some rules and the restaurant got that reputation. Anyone know if it's always been that way?

Clinton Resident

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Maybe that is part of the tradition of the restaurant, but frankly I do not like being abused by the staff. Ate there once to see what all the hype was about. Won't eat there again.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

I'm planning a special trip just to save a table.

Rose Garden

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

Are you a disgruntled employee or disgruntled patron?


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

I can write the next headline now - Iconic Blimpy Burger closes forever!


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

You almost get the feeling that the ownership has lost the desire to survive this eviction.

Rose Garden

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

I wrote yesterday that I think it is nice for Ann to inform the public about new restaurants, otherwise, I probably wouldn't know about them, and to give the owners some free publicity. But, is it headline newsworthy that a restaurant is looking for a place to relocate?

Steve Hendel

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

Jessica, c 'mon: "Blimpy is very important to a huge portion of the Ann Arbor population"? How do you figure that? Some of these alleged A2 icons (like Blimpy and, to name just one, the late Shakey Jake) have their devoted fans, but I think both were highly overrated). I ate at Blimpy a few times, and it was ok, but really, it's a hamburger joint-not a gourmet restaurant. It had atmosphere, yes, if you call grease atmosphere.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Very much yes. It will be a struggle, tho. Think of the two McDonald's that couldn't make it and they were both in the thick of campus. Rent will be a huge expense for anything near campus and then there will be the startup costs. It's broken the back of many others and needs to be managed carefully. Maybe, besides the soups and salads, some beer and fine wine.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Rose Garden -- You ain't from around here, are you? :^)

Usual Suspect

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

McDonalds, no. This place, yes.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Just trying to keep my interested readers informed about the search. It's definitely an iconic restaurant and I know many people are curious. You can email me - - if you have story ideas.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

Since Blimpy's is such an Ann Arbor icon, and for many years, it is of interest if you have an interest in Ann Arbor. Which would be the assumption since this paper is


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Agree but. . . "journalism", as some of us idealistically believe it should be, is nothing more than a business model to sell advertising space/clicks/eyeballs. The more interesting stories to the general public theoretically drive the advertising rates. . .and Blimpy is an iconic AA institution. . .hence its actions become news. . .

Rod Johnson

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Yes, this one.

Jessica Webster

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

Rose - we get asked on an almost daily basis about whether Blimpy has located a new home. Heck, I bother Lizzy nearly every week about whether she's heard anything. Blimpy is very important to a huge portion of the Ann Arbor population.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

How about near State & Maynard?

Susan Montgomery

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Did you mean State and William?

Rod Johnson

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

The intersection that doesn't exist? OK.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

State doesn't "...& Maynard"


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

I'm kind of surprised that a going business like his with such a tradition can't get financing for a new place. Is it the cost of financing that's prohibitive? You see those Ann Arbor Bank billboards all over touting how they know the local area while "out-of-town" banks don't, you'd think they would be more than willing to finance a legendary business. Seems that this business shouldn't need crowdfunding to relocate. It needs its customers to step up when the prices go up to cover the costs and rent. If the burgers are that good and the place that fun, it should be able to. I'll miss the polar bear sculptures every winter.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

That's my point Joe. BlimpyBurger is a local icon of a business. It's been featured on TV shows. It has an established clientele and has been in operation for decades. This isn't a startup. If I were a local bank, I'd jump at the chance to offer financing. Unless Krazy Jim's financial picture behind the scenes is really poor, I'd be amazed that he couldn't make a go of a loan for $100,000 to cover the move. Banks doled out credit to anybody and drove the economy into a hole. Now, they won't give loans to established businesses. Take down the billboards, then.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

Brad, hilarious. You win.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

unfortunately I can say from experience, that billboard bank only lends to "a sure thing" and then gives you attitude when you find a different bank to lend to you.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

Non-local banks think "quints" are sets of five babies.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

Have you ever tried to get financing for a small restaurant? Almost impossible. You can't blame the banks as 60% of restaurants fail within the first 3 years. Most small restaurants are financed from personal savings, family members, friends, or investors willing to risk their own money. If you're lucky, the bank may finance the building but it definitely would not finance the build out. That risk is on you.

Elaine F. Owsley

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

Wherever it is, it has to have a window for the snow bears to look in.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 10:32 a.m.

Does anybody know when Blimpy will be closing? I want to take a few more family members before they close.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:41 p.m.

@rm1: Rich was talking about asking U-M if he could stay in the building longer since it will probably just sit there for some time. He said he was informed the Aug 31 deadline was pretty firm, though. We'll see how it plays out, but you're right, there's a chance he might be able to get an extension.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

"that means they would need to vacate the building by [August 31]." Not necessarily, Lizzy. I don't know if the U has set a date for groundbreaking yet. And it can't until it arranges for purchase of the two holdout student rental buildings. If the local real estate guy holds out and compels full litigation of the eminent domain proceeding, it could be a while. More likely the U and the landlord agree on a price somewhat above the U's most recent offer. Since this is fungible commercial property, it's just a question of price (i.e., there's no issue of a long-held family home or landmark building or anything like that). But while the litigation/negotiation continues, the U has the power, and might very well, extend Blimpy's occupancy on a month-to-month basis. Especially if Blimpy had a new location lined up, but couldn't move in until, say, November.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

Rich hasn't determined a closing date yet. The lease expires August 31, but that means they would need to vacate the building by then.

Hugh Giariola

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 10:57 a.m.

Re-read the last paragraph.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 10:21 a.m.

I'd contribute, but I don't think Kickstarter allows build-out projects (they definitely do not allow buying real estate in their guidelines).


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

Mr. Hick & Ms. Alfs - If you look in the tech or game areas of Kickstarter you will see many commercial projects that are using Kickstarter for marketing and distribution of their products. I doubt that Kickstarter would have an issue, if the kickstarted was done right.

Stupid Hick

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

"Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects." "A project is something with a clear end, like making an album, a film, or a new game. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced as a result." I love Blimpy Burgers, and would like to see them succeed, but it would really be a stretch for them to claim that building-out a kitchen for their for-profit business qualifies as a creative project for which it is appropriate to beg for donations. For-profit businesses are not "creative projects" and they're not charities. If a business needs capital, its owner should apply for loans, or seek a partner who has money, not beg on the internet.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

Yes - exactly the issue. I think that's why they didn't do one from the very beginning. The guidelines are here: