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Posted on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

My last pilgrimage to Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

By Jessica Webster


I waited in line at Krazy Jim's Blmpy Burger's for my last burger at this location on Tuesday. We're all hoping for word on a new location soon.

Jessica Webster |

Nearly everyone I know has a Blimpy Burger story.

Some of them are sweet. Michael Jewett told the story of evenings spent with his dad, hitting the newsstand to stock up on comic books, then making the trip to Krazy Jim's for dinner. This trip always came with an admonition from Michael's dad, Coleman.

"Don't tell your mom."

Then there are the other stories, like my friend Jenn tells. She only went once. She had heard that she might get yelled at if she ordered the wrong way, and she was nervous. When longtime Blimpy staffer Davi asked her if she wanted any grilled items, Jenn blurted out: “I just want cheese.”

Rule number 5 from the Blimpy ordering guidelines: “Just before the burger comes off the grill, you will be asked to pick what kind of cheese you prefer, if any.”

Jenn ended up with just a piece of cheese on her bun. No burger.


Dave and Shannon Dolan were first in line for a final visit to Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, which is closing on Wednesday.

Jessica Webster |

My fondest Blimpy memories date back to the late 1990s. My ex-husband and I would get our burgers and root beers to go. By the time we got home, the grease would have soaked through the quadruple layer of napkins and the bottom of the paper sack we were transporting our meal in. We’d plate up our burgers and dine while we watched the Tigers find new ways to lose. The TV volume would be turned down and we’d listen to Ernie Harwell’s commentary on the radio.

Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger is closing on Wednesday, hopefully just for a few months until a new location can be found. But just to be on the safe side, I decided it was time to make some new Blimpy memories with my 11-year-old son.

Remembering that Blimpy opened at 11 a.m., we stopped for some cash at the bank and made our way down to the corner of Packard and Division at 10:30 Tuesday. We were overjoyed when we saw that we could park right in front of the restaurant. We were less overjoyed when we discovered the sign on the door saying that Blimpy wasn’t opening until noon.

I tried to tell my son that this would make a better story for us to tell for years to come. He wasn’t buying it.

We were the second group in line, behind another parent-child combo. Shannon and Dave Dolan arrived just a few minutes before we did. Dave had already been to the restaurant a few times in the past couple of weeks for goodbye visits with family and staff, but Shannon just got home from Europe so he decided to make one last trip with his daughter.

Shannon was nervous about ordering: “I’ve been yelled at before.”

She spent the time in line writing out her order and drilling her dad on the order process.

“What burger do you want, Dad?"
“I’ll have a double with a fried egg.”
“DAD! I didn’t ask you about that yet! You have to wait until they ask you what you want from the grill!”

The line started getting longer by about 11, and by 11:30 it had wrapped around the block. Those of us at the front of the line started wondering how much we could sell our prime spots for. It was decided that we’d probably be able to dine at the Chop House with the proceeds.

The conversation in line turned to the question of whether it was a true Blimpy experience if you didn’t get yelled at. My son, overhearing this while playing Temple Run on my phone, paused the game and asked me for another ordering tutorial.

At 11:54, the open sign was turned on and the crowd erupted in applause. A few minutes later, we were in.

I’ve probably been to Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger nearly 100 times in my 24 years in Ann Arbor, but my pulse quickened as we stepped through the door, grabbed our drinks and our trays, and got ready to place our orders.

My son made it through the line with no troubles, spitting out his rehearsed answers to the appropriate questions at the appropriate times. I was proud. I, on the other hand, got chastised for having my cell phone visible as I documented our last visit. I thought about explaining that this was more of a camera than a cell phone, but decided I didn’t want to risk getting kicked out.

“Would they really kick you out for talking back?” asked my son. I told him I didn’t want to find out.

I checked in with Shannon and Dave on our way to the table with our trays.

“I got yelled at three times,” laughed Shannon with a grin.

There wasn’t anything special about my last (for now) Blimpy Burger. I got a quad with American cheese on a Kaiser bun - I went with an extra patty for good luck. The mixed veggies were as delicious as always. The only thing different was that this order was served with a side of sadness.

“Don’t think of this as a favorite Ann Arbor restaurant that’s closing,” said my son, trying to comfort me. “Let’s think of this as a great restaurant we found in another city that we might not ever visit again.”

Owner Rich Magner told’s Lizzy Alfs that he’s close to signing a lease for another location, and that he could be up and running again in a few months. I’ll take comfort in that, too.

So for now, it’s not good bye. Instead, we’ll say au revoir, Blimpy Burger. I hope to see you soon.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

My grandfather used to take me and my cousins to Blimpy's in the late 1950's. We would go watch the trains come thru town in the evening and then get a burger as a snack. I was from the country and watching the trains and getting a burger with my grandfather was a big deal for a country kid.

EMU Prof

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

Has anybody else noticed that the burgers actually suck?

Laurie Barrett

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

I hope A2 continues to have independent (non-corporate) and modest (non-restaurantuer) places to get good basic food in authentic relaxed environments. The city used to be full of such places and luckily it still has a good number of same--I just hope not too many go away (and not too many corporate people-food joints open up in their places). Sometimes the little hole-in-the-wall places are the most satisfying.


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 4:19 a.m.

So that guy is married to that girl? Wow. I can definitely call that one a May December romance. Otherwise, happy retirement Blimpy. That burger definitely turned my stomach.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 4:46 a.m.

No. They are father and daughter.

Stuart Brown

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

How come the former owner's wife who got over $1 Million from UofM is not putting up any money for the new facility? What a bunch of chumps!


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 4:21 a.m.

That is the way money makes the world go round. There is a song called that. And that my dear friends is how money talks in Ann Arbor. UM shows a few millions to a few owners and they wag their tongues and they do not care who gets burned. Sorry Blmipie but you lost out on that deal. Should have owned that building out right. But who knew.


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

@ Messa, Re: "I'd just like to say a few words about the "rude" service..." Your experience does not surprise me. Few people are 100% evil. It's just that while "acting cool," and protecting oneself with a, "Best Defense Is A Good Offense," approach to life is fine in Middle School (Junior High in my day), we can all do better than that, and most of us expect better than that, as we move into adulthood. I am happy that she did not play out the script of "Mean Girls" with you, as she does with everybody else. The more encounters she has with people in your kind of situation, the better she will be in the long run, and the more she will grow. In the meantime, I judge people on how they behave in the present moment, not on how theoretically "nice" they can be on occasion. And Blimpy Burger gets an "E" in my book. I'm all for seeing a new incarnation of this business, free of abusive behavior, and free of the managerial substance-abuse issues that fed that atmosphere, and so, with an open mind, I'll adopt the Missouri folks "Show Me" motto.


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 1:48 a.m.

@ Kellie Woodhouse, re: "I was promptly yelled at... After it all I kind of felt like I belonged to an elite club." Aside from your above comment, I have no way of knowing how it applies to you, but a few posts back, I said: "The only "positive" function it [the Abuse Chic culture, that is] performs is to feed the needy egos of those who like to think that they are in the "In" crowd." I'm tempted to add, "Bingo!" here. But I really don't know you well enough to say that for sure. So feel free to explain your response (which, on the surface, appears to be pretty dysfunctional) otherwise.

Jamie Hudgins

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 1:12 a.m.

We let the man take our burger stand!!! Free Blimpys:)


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 12:26 a.m.

I'd just like to say a few words about the "rude" service. My husband and I use to go once a month or so to Blimpy's. When I was pregnant, my husband use to make Blimpy runs for my cravings. Then, I started going in alone. Once, Davi gently asked me where my husband was and I told her that he had died in a car accident 6 months earlier. She told me how sorry she was and how much she liked John, put an extra patty on my bun and handed me my meal. She refused to take a cent for it. I'll never forget her kindness to me at a time I needed it most.

sandy schopbach

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Excellent article, Jess. And how wise is that son of yours? Wise well beyond his years. You must be proud. I'm sorry to say I never went to Krazy Jim's. Ever. It just never happened. And I told myself I'd go now, but somehow it just seemed too sad to do it now. I'll go with you when the new one opens. You can give me a tutorial like you did your son, so I don't get yelled out. ("No soup for you!")

sandy schopbach

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

Excellent article, Jess. And how wise is that son of yours? Wise well beyond his years. You must be proud. I'm sorry to say I never went to Krazy Jim's. Ever. It just never happened. And I told myself I'd go now, but somehow it just seemed too sad to do it now. I'll go with you when the new one opens. You can give me a tutorial like you did your son, so I don't get yelled out. ("No soup for you!")

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

I recall my first Blimpy experience. It was definitely a right of passage to living in Ann Arbor and having enough authority to write about the goings-on here. I went with friends and while they were in line sat at a table. Mistake No. 1. I was promptly yelled at. Then I ordered too soon, and then after that I ordered to slow and without enough precision. It was an arduous experience but in the end I was greatly rewarded with my delicious burger. After it all I kind of felt like I belonged to an elite club. It reminded me of college in Philadelphia when I first went to Pat's and the cashier asked "WITH OR WITHOUT," and I said "What???" and the interaction circled around until I figured out he was asking if I wanted onions WITH my sub. Apparently it's so obvious for true Philadelphians that the onions never need to be mentioned by name. So every late night cheesesteak run after that I practically shouted with... although once I ordered in Spanish just to mix things up.

Jenn McKee

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Really, really nice column that gets to the heart of what Blimpy's is about: personality. Does the place serve the area's best burgers? I'll out myself as the "just cheese" victim at this point and confess that I wouldn't know. But when a business is a part of the local scene for as long as Blimpy's has been, it comes to mean something more to the thousands of students who've passed through the area, as well as all the people who stayed. It's about nostalgia, in large part.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

My mother died in 1971 and my friend, Jim Edlund, gave me a $5.00 gift certificate for Krazy Jim's. It paid for several meals of comfort food and consolation.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Re the actual burgers, to each their own. If they are your bag (o' grease), enjoy and here's to a comeback soon. That being said, you have to either be a masochist or slow witted to screw up the ordering process. It's truly not rocket surgery. Regardless of the food, I certainly won't miss all the hair-pulling and chest-beating that accompanies customers' much exaggerated tales of woe.


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

@Tizz, @julieswhimsies: you guys really do make it too easy...the upside is, no rocket surgeon need fear for his or her job. I'll just leave this here:


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

C'mon, people, it's obvious he meant Brain Science.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

rocket science, not rocket surgery.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

Rocket surgery?! Huh?!

Geoff Larcom

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

I once wrote a column for The Ann Arbor News headlined "Worshipping At The Altar of Krazy Jim's" that outlined the protocol for ordering the perfect burger without incurring gentle ridicule. I loved going there with my sons (Dad was allowed one Blimpy a year) and still recall former Ann Arbor News sports columnist Jason Whitlock ordering a Quint. No doubt the root of his greatness as a national commentary figure these days.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

Brother, I miss your great writing.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Thanks, Geoff! Please cover Krazy Jim's new opening!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

Thats an adorable photo of Mr. Dolan and his daughter. I'm so sick of Blimpys I could hurl. Honestly. Cut it out!

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

It'll all be over soon Tesla, or will it...


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Your pulse only quickened because your heart was stressing with the intake of that savory cholesterol melting cheese and fat substance high intake they call beef along with that heavenly loaded glycemic bread roll totaling out at around 1500 calories, but that's OK your ordered that Diet Soda filled with aspartame and a few other ingredients I cannot pronounce or spell. Life is grand.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

+1 on the Kyles and the YOLO! K YOLO L E S

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.


Kyle Mattson

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 6:02 p.m.


Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

Mmmmm...cheese! But you're wrong about at least one thing: I don't drink diet soda. Actually, I don't drink any sweetened soda anymore, though I did make an exception yesterday and got a root beer for old time's sake.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

I think Jim is not so crazy. It would only be Krazy to not have a grand reoopening(maybe the new restaurants at the mall), they in a couple of years- let the lease go and do it all over again. Krazy like a fox, I say.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

I drove by just before noon and the line was around the corner and maybe 1/4 way down the block, i.e., not too bad.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

When there is six people in line it's a half hour wait. You do the math.

Steve Hendel

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

So now Blimpy's joins it's infamous colleague (Seinfeld's) Soup Nazi-cancelled!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

I like the burgers. I used to go there when I was an undergrad, and they were just kind of busy and moving fast. Yeah, they had specific ways they wanted you to order to keep the line moving, and they'd make that clear, but they were cool about it. It was great. Unpretentious, good (if greasy) food, with a history. Sometime in the 90s, the owner watched too many Seinfeld episodes. Last time I went there, it was like being shrieked at by a drunken bag lady. Either it's fake theater, or the staff are actually jerks. Either way, it's tedious, and there are plenty of other places with good burgers. Sorry to see it close, because I know a lot of people still love it, but it left my go-to list when they decided the Soup Nazi thing was a customer service training video.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

Honest, all we did was walk in to a mostly empty restaurant (maybe 5 other people), set stuff down at a table, and go to get into line. You'd think we'd peed on the floor or something, the yelling we got. My first thought, literally, was "they hire crazy people off the streets now?" How self-important does a restaurant have to be to think it's okay to abuse customers like that?


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

I voted thumbs up for you after reading the first paragraph. After reading the second paragraph, I want to vote thumbs down. Maybe your behavior elicited the "drunk bag lady" response.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

I went there mostly in the 70s and there was no such shtick then. Just Ruby asking "whatcha having?", "something from the fryer?" and as noted by another commenter, "you want ketchup with those fries?". And somehow that all worked just fine.

Tom Teague

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

I always am amazed at anonymous commenters who swear they've never visited a place or never will. For all we know they could be in that photo above, smiling and waiting to get in.

Tom Teague

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Jessica - Nice story with a real bittersweet tinge. I wasn't yelled at during my one trip to Blimpy back in the day, but this story kind of makes me wish I had been.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Thanks Tom Teague! I appreciate it. :)


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Jessica this was a beautiful story. Even though I've never been to BLIMPY BURGER it made me sad about the closing. GOOD JOB JESSICA

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Aw, thanks!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Did some other burger joint in town tell its employees to get online and down-vote every remotely positive comment about Blimpy? Even the seemingly innocuous comment from glimmertwin about CHANGE got down-voted. And for those of you who like to point out that the burgers are not the best burgers around, I'd like to say "we know." But to me, saying you wont eat there because it's not the best burger you have ever had is as ridiculous as saying you only cheer for the football team that's 12-0. I go to Blimpy for reasons other than "it's the best." I go because I feel a connection to it, I feel like I'm joining in a history that goes back decades in a town that I love. I go because there's something special about the greasy spoon atmosphere. I can't say that it's the place I ALWAYS crave when I crave burgers; lots of times it isn't. We all like higher end burgers just as much as you down-voters do, we just also happen to not think that they have a monopoly on goodness. Loosen up; don't take the restaurant experience so seriously. I usually end up laughing about how the burger is only O.K. and the place is small and gross. Just like I end up laughing when I have walked til my feet bleed only to see the Wolverines get decimated at the Big House. Imperfection can be fun too, if you know that you are being driven by reasons other that the pursuit of perfection and you are willing to have a good time anyways.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Thank you for posting this comment.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

@towncryer, I'm not one to believe in such theories myself; I was mostly kidding :) My point was more that it takes an especially mean-spirited person to get negative about someone expressing their fondness for receiving $2 bills as change. I was actually kind of hoping that they were the competition, as opposed to just people who are capable of having enough disdain for a RESTAURANT that they can't smile about such a silly, joyful comment. That's just more anger than I like to imagine any person having.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Or did Blimpy's have employee's up vote all the previous articles and they are too busy with the fund raiser to come on here, lol? Nothing like a good old conspiracy theory..

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

Jack, you've got it all wrong. You say the fries first, then the burger. And never tell them what you DON'T want.

Jack Gladney

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Yes, they did! You found them out. The burger business strategy was to have employees, friends -anyone!- vote thumbs down on positive Blimpy comments on today. All those thumbs down votes will drive Blimpy Burger out of business (wait for this...) two hours sooner! Oh the sweet vengance that will be exacted on Blimpy Butger for stealing all of OUR customers all these years. Those minimum wage burger flippers will be out of jobs faster than you can say, "I'll have a quint, no pickles with fries."


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Maybe this is what you were looking for?


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

You go there because they have the best Blimpy Burgers in the known universe.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

Yeah, something's up. The points in this thread are completely reversed from every other article about Blimpy's. Someone is actively doing something here. should look into how the votes are going.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

@ Jessica Webster: Why is it that other restaurants don't need apologists such as yourself, justifying their bad behavior as necessary, "cute," or the customers' fault? It is entirely possible to "keep the line moving" without being rude. Re: "I think she was playing up the "Soup Nazi" role this week because people were hoping to experience it." At least you admit that the culture of Abuse Chic exists at Blimpy Burger. The only "positive" function it performs is to feed the needy egos of those who like to think that they are in the "In" crowd. Some of us don't need that BS, though.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

Good for you. No need to be a kill joy!

Tom Joad

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

You waited in line for an hour for that? That food porn photo of a greasy slop of burger in no way makes me want to eat one of those.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

that is probably a good thing as you might not feel welcomed.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

I did, and I thought that greasy slop of a burger was delicious. Being well aware that all that grease is not good for me, I've limited my intake over the years. But I do think they're awfully tasty.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Anyone can stand in line for a while but I know a family of five all planning to go to the $100/person dining experience. THOSE are true Blimpy fans. $500 x ?? will help rent the new place for a while.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

I don't know if I agree with that. Anyone with money can dole it out, but it takes true commitment to wait hours for a meal. Just ask my husband ;)


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

fundraiser? $100 per person? while the owner laughs all the way to the bank. This is Ann Arbor folks. A place where nonsense reigns


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Fundraiser....hmmmmmm. If I make a greasy burger and yell at someone will you pay ME $100?


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

There's a sucker born every they say.

Jack Gladney

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Baaaahhh! Bleat! Bleat! Baaaahhhh!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

What a waste of money. Corporate welfare


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

Good Riddance!

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

The "yelling" is just a chiding, usually, and is done to keep the line moving so you don't have to wait too long for your burger. In my many years of Blimpy patronage, it was only Davi who I found to be over the top, and it seemed to me that she was doing it because (many) people seemed to love it. I love the staff at Blimpy. Not because they abuse me. They don't. I probably go to Blimpy every couple of months, but I am always greeted with a smile that makes me feel like a regular. Paul, who has been there for over a decade, have a long-running conversation about mutual Ann Arbor friends. The woman who is usually manning the cash register is ridiculously kind and friendly. These days, it's only the red-haired woman who's usually working the grill you admonishes me, and even then it's pretty gentle - and it's always about my cell phone. I think she was playing up the "Soup Nazi" role this week because people were hoping to experience it.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

Jessica. You wrote the piece. You don't need to continue to shill for the place.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Several typos above - my fault for typing on a phone. Sorry!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

@ Tru2Blu76: It is ridiculous to pretend that it is somehow the customers' fault that this atmosphere exists. The fact is that this discussion only occurs when talking about Blimpy Burger. You can debate whether the problem stems from a poorly-designed ordering system, or from a carefully-cultivated culture of Abuse Chic, but the problem is Blimpy's, not the customers'.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:01 p.m.

Sorry. I prefer to sit at a table like a human being and have someone take my order. I don't like being yelled at for ordering something in a way they don't like. Manners count for something, this place doesn't have any and their food was not that great!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

The "instructions" at Krazy Jim's are posted where customers can easily see, read and understand them. People who don't understand what the words "ordering" and "buying" mean deserve to be "yelled at" (actually, it's more often just light sarcasm spoken loud enough to be heard). What's so hard about this? ;-)


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

thank you!

Linda Peck

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

My son-in-law has drawn a wonderful cartoon of the "dormitory" with Blimpy Burger's on the main floor, totally intact, nothing disturbed. Perfection.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

My best memory is all the unusual forms of change I've received. $2 dollar bills; half-dollar coins, $1 dollar coins... always fun. The staff always seems to appreciate when you pay with unusual coins, also. Good memories.

Jake C

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

I think I got a number of foreign coins as change as well. Instead of nickels I got occasionally got coins from Jamaica and Trinidad. Always thought that was fun.

Jack Gladney

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:23 p.m.

I get the same enjoyment at TCF Bank. They don't make me eat a greasy burger and fries to get change though.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

Me too, glimmertwin!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

I must be in for a rough day. This actually got me a bit weepy.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

@ Rimshot, re: "Wow - eating there sounds like a very stressful and unpleasant experience." You're right. Eating there IS a very stressful and unpleasant experience. And it is surprising how many people get off on that. Even the cheerleaders for Blimpy's, like the writer of this article, bring it up. An earlier article was written by a dad who was eager to see his son abused, just as he himself had been when he was young. Pretty sick.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

In the immortal words of Ruby, "you want ketchup with those fries?"

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Susie Q - I spent a year as a Denny's waitress as a teen, back when the smoking section was 3 times the size of the non-smoking section. My clothes, hair, skin and even my pillow was saturated with the scent of stale smoke. I'm not sure if that's better or worse than always smelling like Blimpy grease.

Susie Q

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Yes, Ruby was formidable and unforgettable. My roommate worked at Krazy Jim's for several years and always came home smelling like our apt smelled much like Jim's. Of course, we conveniently lived right next door! The fragrance might have wafted in because of the proximity.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

@John - could be. She was a fixture during the era that I frequented the place regularly so that's how I remember it.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Didn't she die already?


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Ruby IS Krazy Jim's.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

There's plenty you can blame UM for, but not this. They didn't steal the buildings or use eminent domain to force a sale (which is kind of stealing). The owner of the building put it up for sale, and UM bought it. If you want to blame someone, blame the owner.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

@M-Wolverine is correct: The former owner, Patricia Shafer (widow of Blimpy Burger's founder) made a deal with U-M to sell the property. The conversations about eminent domain came into play with a couple surrounding properties.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

The town has given the U of M, the power to do what they want. Don't you realize yet that they own the town and we are just the folks that take care of it.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

If UM actually did threaten eminent domain, then go ahead and blame UM for it. I wasn't aware of that if true.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

I thought we voted against eminent domain?


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

The owner didn't put it up for sale. The U came to her with an offer to take the property. And the other properties that didn't want to sell (unlike her) caused them to threaten eminent domain. Not how you put it at all.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

No, the U threatened eminent domain first, forcing the seller to make the deal.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

Wow - eating there sounds like a very stressful and unpleasant experience. Why are y'all going to miss it so?


Thu, Aug 15, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

Because, like many Americans, we like to semi-ironically obsess over relatively mundane things, like hamburgers, or movies about superheroes.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

it isn't. this article just focused on 1/2% of things that happened in the past.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

@Jake C - thanks - that's exactly what I meant. I also agree that nearly all "yelling" was good-natured. In fact, the only thing I thought you got wrong was when you referred to me as "he."

Jake C

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

@Mindfulmoon, I think you're misinterpreting the author's sentiments. He didn't say it wasn't "nothing special", he implied that he got a "standard" burger, as opposed to something with half a dozen wacky toppings. @Rimshot: Eating at Blimpy is not a stressful or unpleasant experience (unless you're waiting in the rain for 2 hours, perhaps). The exceptions was the "first-timer" who's been warned by friends that you'll get yelled at for ordering wrong, and that's half the fun of bringing new friends to Krazy Jim's. Any attitude you get from the staff from "ordering wrong" is almost always good-natured and delivered with a wink. I brought a girlfriend to Blimpy a decade ago, and gave her the standard disclaimer about the correct ordering process. She got nervous and asked me to order for her so she wouldn't get yelled at. When I attempted to order for both of us, I got yelled at by the cook, who then calmly walked my GF through the process. Talk about a backfire. And of course we just laughed about it a few minutes later.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

There was no contempt or put down. I think this is a serious question. Even in the article, the author said the burger was nothing special. What, seriously, is the draw?

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

Contempt prior to investigation Try it before you put it down

Eduard Copely

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

Based on the outpouring of support (and hungry stomachs) I have no doubt Blimpy will open again soon.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

Are the burgers locally sourced and humanely killed? Are the ingredients fair trade and organic? Is there a gluten-free alternative? Are there artisans hard at work delivering creative freshness to the customer? If not they won't last a month in New Ann Arbor's Downtown. Unless they add an umlaut over the u in "BlimpyBurger" to appear pretentious.

An Arborigine

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

AA may get their wish if Blimpie becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Zingdom™


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

nothing like that smokeblwr, just nice and greasy chuck, with no " highfalutin" value, just fun stuff!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

According to MLive, "the ground chuck is an 80/20 blend from Eastern market."


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 11:06 a.m.

Unlike the burgers, this whole thing should leave a really bad taste in Ann Arbor's mouth regarding U of M. I graduated from here, it's a good school and all, but it is a giant monster that really needs to be reigned in. U of M is really no different from DOW, or P&G, except it receives tax money, doesn't pay property tax, and has a better football team.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Blimpy's business will increase 200% with a new location.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Elaine, was this property put up for sale? Like befre any kind of interaction w/ U of M? My impression was U of M approached with an offer. Please confirm. And also, I don't see this getting old at all, e.g. with the recent eminent domain thing. The U having hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid so they can make any kind of crazy offer they want and not have to pay property taxes on what they buy is getting out of hand. Am I to understand that if they decided to purchase every home inside the city limits, you would have no issue? Everyone has their line, even you. At SOME point, it gets concerning, and at SOME point, something really needs to be done. Also, I know the difference between reign and rein, but I have fat fingers AND THERE'S NO EDIT BEFORE POSTING!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Not sure about the football team....

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

The owner put the property up for sale, the University purchased it just like any other individual or entity could have purchased it. This "blame the U" complaining is really getting old.

Nick Danger

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

Another causality of greed from the almighty U.A sad day for the people of Ann Arbor


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Made a offer no one could refuse, it's only money and the U has an endless supply of $$$$.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Take it up with the property owner who offered it for sale.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

I hope the new location has an appropriate platform for the snow bears and a window they can look through. That's really important in the winter.

Paula Gardner

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

I knew I'd regret not going over the weekend. If you don't see me for a few hours today, Jessica, you know where I'll be!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 10:36 a.m.

Yelled at for ordering wrong? Only in CandyLand!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

they've really mellowed out over there over the last decade or so. my girl and i went there a few months back and made some classic gaffes and we didn't elicit so much as a raised eyebrow. i think they were playing up a little bit of the "old time charm" for everyone stopping in for their "last meal". i don't remember getting a proper chewing out at blimpie burger after 2004 or so.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

That over cooked burger that is pictured looks repulsive.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Oddly enough people expect it and kind of consider it a badge of honor. I've only been once and still regret that I didn't get yelled at, not even once, and I asked for my side way before I was supposed to.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 10:18 a.m.

I'll bet the UM doesn't do anything meaningful with this building. Check back in a year


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

They will do something knock down that eyesore rat infested grease trap!


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

"He" didn't sell anything - the building belonged to Krazy Jim Shafer's widow. They made her a nice offer and she sold it. And if she hadn't, who truly believes that the U wouldn't have given her the same treatment as they threatened the other holdout with? I'm not hating on the U, but those are likely the facts.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

Although the U did not threaten Ms. Shafer with eminent domain does anybody believe that wouldn't have been the next step? They were going to have that land there one way or the other.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

Why blame the U.? (Other than the habit of many to blame everything on the dastardly, evil, soulless U.) As far as was reported, he had the opportunity to sell it, and he did. No take-over or seizing involved.