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Posted on Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Ann Arbor native starts Facebook page 'Save Blimpy Burger'

By Julie Baker

Hundreds of burger lovers are taking to Facebook to show their support for Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger after it was announced Thursday that the longtime Ann Arbor restaurant would be moving by next summer.


Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger must move from its location on South Division Street in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor native Daniel Lord, 45, created the "Save Blimpy Burger" page on Friday after hearing that the eatery will be moving after nearly 60 years on South Division Street. The page had more than 600 likes as of Sunday afternoon.

Lord said he's never met the owner, Rich Magner, but felt compelled to show his support for the restaurant after eating there for 30 years. He's not sure what, if anything, will come of the page but hopes it will at least show Magner that people support Blimpy Burger wherever it goes.

"I grew up here, I remember my first Blimpy, and I got yelled at while I ordered it," said Lord, who now lives just north of Ann Arbor. "I remember my kids' first Blimpy, and them getting yelled at when they ordered it, 'cause that is the experience, no one orders their first one right!"

He added that the same person who made his first Blimpy burger made his now-teenage sons' burgers, too. reported Thursday that Blimpy Burger's move comes as the University of Michigan purchases the property, owned by Patricia Shafer, the wife of the restaurant's deceased founder Jim Shafer. The restaurant must find a new location by summer 2013.

It's not clear what U-M has planned for the site, but it's expected that plans will be revealed Monday when the Board of Regents' next meeting agenda is posted.

In the meantime, Lord is hoping fellow burger lovers will keep showing their support on the page — where he's posting Blimpy Burger memes, memories and coverage of the restaurant (including its appearance on Man vs. Food).

"Ann Arbor has a lot of 'never forget' things," he says, and Blimpy Burger is one of them.

Julie Baker can be reached at or at 734-623-2576. Follow her on Twitter @juliebakera2.



Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

Another example of the "university" removing property off the Ann Arbor tax rolls. Is the "U" going to pay extra for police and fire protection ? I think Ann Arbor should have a City incom tax to cover all the revenue lost to the university gobbeling up so much property. I am also glad I dont live in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

Get over it life is change. Tios has survived and thrived. This was a business deal where the owner was paid not foreclosed.

Frustrated in A2

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 4:33 a.m.

Nice thought but I honestly don't see the university not leveling that building since they've already paid for it. Sad to say it.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

I hate to say it, but they will not be able to relocate with what prices for rent are in downtown Ann Arbor. Some I have talked to said Ypsilanti near EMU would be an ideal location due to rent control and the popularity of the place. Yes, it will be missed, but mom and pop shops in Ypsilanti. 1.5 mill is a lot of money not to pass up. Although the IRS will have a field day.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Considering every high rise that has gone up in town lately has first floors full of restaurants of some sort, I don't know why the University doesn't consider a gigantic goodwill move if they're going to put a building there instead of another lot, and just create space and rent it out to Blimpy's in the same location. It would sacrifice a little space, but would give them revenue (rent) in return. And it would do wonders for PR. And even link the famous Ann Arbor Institution more closely to the University. (It was strange seeing an ad for the University this weekend that showed Blimpy's in they're taking it away). Even a parking lot could have that space left alone. People parking around the building. I don't expect it, but it seems like a simple PR move that would do wonders for the black eye the University seems to be getting over and over lately. And it has to be profitable, because all these other building aren't giving up prime apartment space to 7-11 and Tim Hortons at a loss. (Whether Blimpy's could afford it is another thing).


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

Say yes to saving Blimpy Burgers -- they are an icon.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

Can't if the owner wants the cool mill. I know I would.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Re: "...I got yelled at while I ordered it," and, "I remember my kids' first Blimpy, and them getting yelled at when they ordered it..." I have long found it strange that this is one of the draws of that place. I wrote the following in response to the first article: "Love the place most of the time. Quad with Swiss and fried egg on an onion roll. My teenage son would get a septuplet... Certain long-term employees are very unpleasant, though, so I don't go as much as I used to. But I haven't been there in at least a year, so maybe the chief instigator is gone..." That comment got 15 "thumbs up," one "thumbs down," when last I looked, so I hope Rich, who always seemed a nice enough guy, is following these threads. Bad behavior is just bad behavior, not something to get nostalgic about. I'm not afraid of them –– their bad behavior is their problem, not mine –– so I'll go back on occasion when I feel in the mood for the food. But I don't think that the abuse is cute, as some people do. There is a lot of chuckling and elbow-nudging by others in line when somebody gets reamed out for some non-offense –– like sitting down for a moment in a chair beside their place in line –– but I prefer nice people. It's a stupid habit to cultivate that kind of atmosphere, and it has to have cost them many tens of thousands of dollars over the years. –– I tip normal, nice, people 20%, rude people zero, or maybe a penny or two to get their attention.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

I couldn't agree more, hmsp. I enjoyed Blimpy's for years until several years ago when a certain female employee screamed at my 6-yr-old for ordering "incorrectly", and then continued to belittle me for attempting to help her out. We walked out, and I haven't been back since. I'm sure they don't miss my business, but I did pick up lunch there frequently for the entire office, which no longer happens. Also, that day I happened to be on my way to a school meeting with about 200+ parents present, very few of whom thought the behavior was "cute" when I shared our experience with them. I spoke with the owner the next day, and explained that while many customers may find this type of treatment amusing, humiliating a child in front of a room full of people was not funny, and that while I usually go out of my way to patronize small or independent businesses, I won't spend my $$ at places where I'm treated rudely. He was extremely dismissive, and I finally told him that if he didn't care about how they treated their customers, I certainly didn't. I may have missed their heart-attack-on-a-bun at first, but I got over it quickly. There are too many other places to eat in Ann Arbor where you can have a good time, tasty food, and the employees are actually pleasant to you.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

A wise man once told me: We reap what we sow. I wish the best for blimpys and their quest for a new and better location.

Steve Hendel

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

I have lived in the area for 50 years, but no one has been able to explain to me why places like Blimpy Burger or people like the late Shakey Jake are/were held in such high esteem in some quarters. Perhaps rationality is in the mind of the beholder.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Ypsilanti would welcome Blimpy's. We would love you here. I know many people who would love for you to open in Ypsi.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

I was thinking the same thing. A nice place for Blimpy and the library is just down the road.

Matt Lang

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

I wish they'd open a Sonics drive-in out here as well, and/or a Fuddruckers. That vacant building that used to be home to Bakers Square on Whittaker rd. would be perfect.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

This was the first place my future husband took me when I arrived in Ann Arbor...not his house...or a bar...but to Krazy Jim's. And, I have to admit, though my marriage didn't last, my fondness for a Blimpy Burger has always remained.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

Look around at your relatives, or maybe look at yourself or you kids. Fat and sick and slowly dying? Diabetes, heart disease and obesity are running rampant. The doctors and pharmaceutical companies are having a field day, rolling in the bucks. A new drug store on every corner. Why, "food" like Blimpy serves. I ate there in my younger days but wouldn't touch that stuff now and haven't for 30 years. Think about it. Why should this place be so worthy of accolades?


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

@Matt Lang, you are saying just exactly what I was taught at my Diabetes class twelve years ago when I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic. They said it was ok to enjoy things like Blimpy's and other indulgent food as long as I did once in a while as a treat. I have done this and lost over 100 lbs and have my diabetes under control with just diet and exercise.

Matt Lang

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

This is a fun place you go to for a treat every now and then, not unlike Ben and Jerry's. Eat healthy at home and whenever possible elsewhere, and then go to a place like Krazy Jim's, or Red Hot Lovers, or Gabriel's Steak Hoagies, etc., and have a snack occasionally. Life is short, treats are permitted from time to time.

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

Yeah nothing but fresh mowed lawn grass & free range pine cones for me!!!


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

By the way, I wonder if Rich Magner eats there.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

You have to wonder if Blimpy Burger can survive in another location. If the business were not so close to West and South Quad how much business would they have? Who is going fight for parking for a griddle top burger? Blimpy needs an on campus ( close to students) location to survive.

Eric S

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

Most of their lunch crowd is townies now, and Rick says that overall the split is roughly halves. I think they'd get a lot more non-students if parking wasn't so bad.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:11 a.m.

Time will tell! I doubt you are really in the business of advising businesses!

Dave Brueckner

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

I am amazed by the flakes who don't care about Blimpy. I have eaten there since 1963, my junior year in high school. My children have all been there and still enjoy the occasional blimpy as do my grand children. I knew Jim Schaffer and even ate at his other store an east Ann street which is now a Jimmy Johns. I remember the early cook rosie and have known many since including the present staqff includind 'Davie' The place is a part of AA hiatory and certainly worth the time and space in our marginal news. Julies article was O.K. but could have included a lot more history. The place was also featured on Guy Fiery's show also. Known world wide and enjoyed by many returnibg alums, hopefully Rick will be able to find a new location, but it could never be the same. By the way Tios doesnt go back as far and has far less followers.

Dave Brueckner

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

forgot to spell check


Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

I just want to know when and where it goes. i will have another Blimpy Burger. i will be sure to vist the current place a few more times. it have be years and years since i had one.


Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

I feel bad that an established business has to unwillingly but legally relocate. But I feel they should get over it and move on. The same thing happened to tios and they are doing great. Why are people not up in arms over the countless businesses that have had to close or people who have lost there jobs these past years. I think all this discussion about blimmy's is pointless unless we care about all of the businesses that have had to adjust or close. Move on -- please these headlines are becoming redundant!!


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Who needs to "get over it?" Have you heard anyone from Blimpy's complaining? I'm sure they don't like it, but they've been professional and understand. The reaction has been from fans of the place and the public. And you can't compare places that are "institutions" to just any business. People care about all of them, but they "feel" for those they have a connection to. Blimpy's is one of those places. You can't compare a place that's been featured on national tv programs multiple times to just any business. There's a reason it gets the acclaim, and the feelings towards it. It should be simple to understand. And if you don't like the headline, well, it is a headline, so you don't have to click and read it.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:27 a.m.

I really hate it when some soulless fool comes on here and tries to tell me how to think or feel. Blimpy's is a beloved Ann Arbor landmark. For many longtime Ann Arborites, it's a small piece of our history. How DARE you suggest that our time should be spent "getting over it." And you obviously haven't been paying attention if you really think people are NOT up in arms over business closures and the resulting job losses. You are the one who should move on.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:39 a.m.

Tios had some help from the McKinley people, which helped them immensely. I don't have a clue how much rent Blimpy was paying, but to move somewhere else downtown could be fatal to the business as rent is extremely high. I don't envy Ricks upcoming business decisions.


Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

I agree. Where is the equal journalistic coverage for all of our citizens facing hardship? By the way it should be "their"FYI I'm sure you knew. ;)