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Posted on Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

Blimpy Burger to close Wednesday; plans to host "Last Supper" fundraising meals

By Lizzy Alfs


Blimpy Burger will close at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14.

Joseph Tobianski |

After 60 years, Ann Arbor’s iconic Blimpy Burger restaurant plans to close this week.

The burger joint at 551 S. Division St. will close at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, said owner Rich Magner. Blimpy Burger’s hours are noon to 8 p.m. for its remaining days in business.

The restaurant has to close after the University of Michigan purchased the Blimpy Burger building and surrounding properties to make way for a 600-bed graduate residence. Blimpy Burger must vacate the building by Aug. 31.

Magner is in the early stages of negotiating a lease for a new restaurant space in the downtown Ann Arbor area. He said it could be several months before Blimpy Burger reopens.

“The lease isn’t signed yet, so the location isn’t disclosed,” Manger said. “However, we will be moving, of course.”

Although Blimpy Burger won’t be open to the public after Wednesday, Magner plans to host fundraising meals on Aug. 17 and 18.

The restaurant launched a “Blimpy Last Supper” fundraising website, where people can purchase tickets to have a final meal in the building.

“Our time at 551 S. Division is coming to an end and we will no longer be able to serve the public mouth watering burgers beyond (August 14th), but we wanted to offer some of you the opportunity to be the last customers at the original location,” the website says.

The Blimpy Last Supper meals are being held in one-hour time slots between noon and 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There are 35 seats available per hour, and tickets costs $100.

The ticket price includes a meal, a custom Blimpy Burger T-shirt and an invitation to an annual private appreciate dinner at the restaurant’s new location. The restaurant will also hold a drawing for a private catering event.

Magner said the money raised through the fundraisers will be used to help Blimpy Burger transition to a new location.

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



Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

$100 for a fund-raising meal? No, that's just beyond my budget. But I don't go ballistic over such things. If it works for the owner and assists / speeds reopening, then that's all that can be said about it. The long waiting lines outside Krazy Jim's speak for themselves about "public opinion." The nay-sayers, nit-pickers and those who are so eager in proclaiming their own preferences also speak for that minority. The comment about the "true meaning" of the word "iconic" is a chart-topper for Ridiculousness. (capitalization intentional) If a few people don't like burger joints like Krazy Jim's, they should be able to find restaurants more to their liking in this town. The real puzzle is why some people who have less popular preferences insist on bugging the rest of us about their choice. Anyone who makes a ngative point about the legitimate pleasures of others to justify their own pleasures has something deeply wrong going on in their heads.

Alan Jackson

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

The fact that a 60 year old venerated institution has to have a fundraiser to stay in business is astonishing. The place always has customers lining up and has people coming in from out of state to eat there. Where are those local Ann Arbor banks that we hear about so much on the radio? They should be thrilled to be Blimpsy's saviour. Why is it that corporate businesses can afford to buy up all of the real estate in town and Blimpy's can't?


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

Why don't they have the money for a new space? For real. No sarcastic responses please.


Wed, Aug 14, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

We need to know these things to decide whether or not to engage based on our philanthropic guidelines. To pass judgment only if they have been mismanaging money or never put in place a continuity plan or fund. To the end of whether or not I, or anyone, should donate. Basically, I just want to know if I'm being swindled... I'm young still, but have funds to donate and I would have to guess that the owner of Blimpy Burger has more money than I do, so, should I donate to someone who has more money than me? Should I give my sandwich to the man at the next table that ate his sandwich too quickly and is still hungry?


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

Legit question. That's the problem though - we don't have the actual figures relating to the profits, accumulated capital or costs of this business nor do we have the actual figures on the cost of moving it to a new location. The other question would be: why do we need to know these things? To pass judgement? To what end? The fund raising effort may be legitimate or may not be. If most believe it's not - that may mean the fund raising fails. If the owner really can afford to move without it: then the move will take place and there'll be a new Blimpy Burger for many to enjoy. If he can't afford it: the move will not take place and we've seen the last of Blimpy Burger. Stay tuned to learn one of these two results.

not a billy

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

Has everyone overlooked the obvious? Why couldn't U-M include some first floor/street side shops (a.k.a. food court) in the residence building? Revenue and convenience all in one. We get wrapped up in sentimental issues and "we can't do that" mentality, or simply overlook creativity. The biggest pitfall would be the rent that U-M would demand for the floor space. Maybe we can get the football dynasty behind the idea and it make it work (seems like they always get what they want).


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 5 p.m.

Putting Blimpy inside a dorm would be like putting a wild tiger in a cage. You can do it, but it wouldn't be the same.

Boo Radley

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 1:52 a.m.

Kinda reminds me of the McRib episode of the Simpsons.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 12:26 a.m.

I'll still just drive to Bates in Livonia, Hunter House, or the Telway and still probably save much money even factoring in gas compared to Blimpy's overpriced food.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:08 p.m.

Times change. Grandma, now long gone, (Happy Birthday Hazel), loved Blimpy Burgers. Dad's family was from the immediate area and one fall day during a Michigan Football parking party someone took me over and we purchased a bag or two of food from Blimpy's. Yes, it was greasy, yes it was bad for us but Grandma loved it and it was one of those wonderful memories from childhood. Thank you Blimpy Burger for the memory.

Jonathan Kumar

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

I think it's interesting that if the manager had created a "kickstarter" instead of a "fundraiser", there wouldn't be a single complaint as found below.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

"fundraiser" "nonprofit" ...or a business that isn't successful or perhaps just needs a boost. Blimpy Burger is a successful business. Their operating costs can't be too high, their prices aren't low, and I don't see their cooks driving Ferraris to work. If they get the free money they are hoping for from people like you and me, then congrats to them on getting free money (who wouldn't like that?). To me, this looks like a kid who ate his lunch and now wants your lunch. Perhaps I should throw a fundraiser for myself - I'll call it the "I've saved money for years to be financially secure, but now I want to spend a bunch of money and live carelessly, but I don't want to spend my money so please give me yours!" fundraiser.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

I think you're correct. The difference is simply the terminology used. I think most people connect "fundraiser" with "nonprofit."


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

For those who do not know - the UofM does not pay property tax to the City of Ann Arbor. So with the purchase of these buildings, the city loses that bit of income. While I hear arguments all the time that the UofM brings soooo much revenue into the city, which is why it doesn't pay property taxes - I have to ask, why does the UofWisconsin-Madison pay property tax? Because they are so much smaller, and bring so little to the city of Madison?


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Well since you asked "why it doesn't pay property taxes " I will sum it up THE CONSTITUTION of the state of Michigan. Other than that, there is no reason. Feel free to change it. Oh while we are at it, the Catholic church pays ZERO property taxes on PRIME real estate throughout the city. Any NON-profit in the city and state do not pay sales tax as well. So in essence we FUND many causes and groups that we may not agree or believe in. The United Way, the American Red Cross, HSHV, the Catholic Church. We also do not tax the social security office, the police and fire stations, the secretary of states office and many other parcels of land. SO WHAT

peg dash fab

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

Great Plains on Plymouth Rd. out by North Campus makes a better burger, dontchaknow?

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Can that chain griddle fry me a quint?

John Tucker

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

If you don't like Blimpy Burger, you don't get it. Some of the best burger memories for me since 1959 when we moved here. Good Luck and re-open soon.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

Awwwwwwww...offended they called it "The Last Supper?" offended they are doing a fundraiser? I'm offended you are's offensive. If you don't like it you don't have to support or even pay attention. Blimpy means a lot to many folks not only in A2 but students, former students, and visitors from across the globe. Blimpy has gone above and beyond to support our community and a little love back is more than appropriate in the eyes of those who have appreciated patronizing the worlds best burger joint :)

Ypsi Russell

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

I understand another successful local restaurateur is preparing to step up and fill this niche.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

You mean try and *copy* the business because he didn't have another idea? Good luck. I remember a guy back, 5 or 10 years ago who was talking a lot of trash about beating blimpy at their game. Complaining about them not offering a one patty burger. Being too expensive. Having limited hours. Etc. I don't think he made it for more than a month or two, operating out of the gas station.

jim c

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Does anyone really think they are going to reopen? They have been in business for 60 years but have no capital to fund a new location and no definitive plan or new lease for another location. C'mon folks, this fundraiser should be labeled Rich's Retirement Fund. He will be spending this winter in Florida thanks to those attending. Bring him some suntan lotion when you come this weekend.

peg dash fab

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

and that is ok, too

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Shhhhhhhhhh!!! (Longer version: I think you're correct.)


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Always strange to see how many people actually like being abused –– "I love to see the rookies cower in fear," etc. Sheesh! That's ridiculous! Myself, I like friendly service, so I stopped going there years ago.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

No soup for you!

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

I like to watch drunk and otherwise substance compromised individuals struggle to communicate. But only if they are in line behind me.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Your loss.

Eduard Copely

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

The end of an era. Like many, I hope Blimpy finds a new home quickly. On a side note, the makers of LIPITOR® will be handing out free samples next door.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

"On a side note, the makers of LIPITOR® will be handing out free samples next door." On a side note, LIPITOR is also an Ann Arbor creation.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

On a side note its free every month at Meijers


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Most of the comments in this thread are just depressing. They only serve as a reminder of how dour, bland, and elitist this once-proud town is growing. We need to remember that this town exists beyond the U of M -- those kids come here for an education, and most of them get out as quickly as possible once they've graduated. Good luck Mr. Magner, I look forward to my family's first meal at the new location!

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

"Good luck Mr. Magner, I look forward to my family's first meal at the new location!" It could be a while. I'm not sure your family can wait months.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the food or the idea of a fundraiser, it's the end of an era, and the end of yet one more establishment that made A2 unique. Ann Arbor is losing its uniqueness and charm, and being filled with chain restaurants and chain retail. Small family businesses are being pushed out, either by UM buying yet more properties to take off the tax rolls, or by high rents. Hopefully Blimpy will find a good spot in the city and continue to thrive, but we will all miss the polar bears in the winter as well as the uniqueness that this location brought to the central city.

Sieben 7

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

It's really unfortunate to see all the negative comments about the "Last Supper" and the quality of the food at Krazy Jim's that are being expressed. Just doing some simple math the proceeds from the last dinner will be less than $30,000 ( 2 dinners and a tee shirt worth about $30) so 70 X 400 = 28,000. When you figure in the cost of moving and renovations I doubt if Rich is coming out ahead. In addition, KJ doesn't own the present property but paid rent so I seriously doubt if the business model is flawed since he was in business for 60 years and is only closing due to being forced out.. My suggestion would be that those of you who don't appreciate Krazy Jim's don't buy the tickets, those who feel giving them $100 is a "donation" that otherwise could go to a charity write a check to their favorite charity, and those that feel that KJ's is just another greasy spoon and don't realize that it is an AA institution are entitled to their impressions but why is it that you have to run down those who have gone there and do enjoy it. Freedom of choice people - yes you are entitled to your opinion and this was mine!

Hugh Giariola

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

OK, let's recap: -Owner has known about impending move for at least 9 months and has not signed new lease. -Last article stated "There's no doubt that we will be closed a month or two at least, maybe three" -Now "it could be several months before Blimpy Burger reopens" -Outrageously priced last-minute fundraiser = "neither a pot to pee in nor a window to throw it out" to quote my late father. Sorry folks, this place is not going to reopen.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

Im curious to know how Tios survived their move. What worked? What didnt? Maybe Blimpy can learn something from their experience?

Boo Radley

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 2 a.m.

They probably survived by being better business people before they had to move.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

After all those years at the same location you can bet they were probably ''Grand Fathered" in on many things.....Now that they are re-locating I have to believe that the new location will have to adhere to all kinds of regulations.... (probably a good thing).... The price of Blimpy's is going to go up Up UP.....


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

I am not sure how many health and safety issues you can grandfather in.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

A fundraiser for "greasy burger"? Sorry, but I won't miss that greasy spoon restaurant.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

About 9 years ago I had to pick up a large order from Blimpy's for a surprise work lunch. My car JUST stop smelling like grease last week.


Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 1:09 a.m.

Come on, Jack, lighten up a little. I know Jesus would have wanted you to.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

I doubt they will miss you either! What year did you go once?

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted on other fascinating news.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Thanks for stopping by to give us the great news. I means one less person in the line that will extend out the door.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

Given all the money that is being raised... I hope Magner will be maybe passing on some of the proceeds to employees who may be without income until the new restaurant opens. Especially if he hopes to retain his current employees.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

At best this will be a drop in the bucket to help swing the costs with opening a new place.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

I am guessing he will focus on getting up and running again to provide his employees with ongoing income. I do, however, really hope the best for his employees. I hope they qualify for unemployment.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

Now that makes sense.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:09 a.m.

They should have a Krazy Jims blimp fly over the stadium during a game with a sign that says "we'll be back"


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

I would love that. It could shower the fans with cold french fries.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 4:16 a.m.

Yes, Blimpy's is great, in and by itself. But I think one of the special guests that night should be Davey. She made that place the legend it became: a true dining adventure. I loved to watch rookies (including a younger version of myself) cower in fear as the line approached the big curve toward the flat-top.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

I find it laughable that a place that has served greasy nasty stuff that literally slides off a bun for 60 years is revered as if they were Mother Wattle's Soup Kitchenl! Give me a break...he will end up in the high rent district just like Tios did. They had a fundraiser too, remember. By the way I had my first Blimpy about 60 years ago.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

justcurious I am mid 60's still in good shape and eat crap. BUT we will both probably get hit by a truck and die!


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

You're right jcj..I caught it after I had submitted...but you know..they don't have an edit button. And Craigjjs I have lived as long as I have because I stopped eating crap a long time ago...


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

I doubt you are a Mother Wattle's Soup Kitchen expert! Because it's Mother Waddles!


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

That "nasty stuff" obviously did not shorten your life span. I am guessing more people know and care about Blimpy's than any anonymous poster.

Lewis M

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

Fundraiser? Ridiculous! should be ashamed! Let me tell you about special days camps. A camp for children with cancer!

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Send them a press release and they'll probably cover it. is a very responsive community news outlet.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

Because every $100 spent on Blimpy's means a child will get cancer? It is not a zero sum game. This community (town and gown) is amazingly generous to charities of all stripes.

Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.

Holding a fundraiser is ridiculous. $100 for a greasy burger? Why didn't the owner prepare well in advance for his closing like most businesses would? Relying on the generosity of its customers to provide the seed capital for a new location is beyond belief. It's just a burger, big deal.

Robert Honeyman

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

it's marketing. pretty clever, actually. it'd be interesting to know how well he does with the idea. although, the more important element is keeping the name in the public eye.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

Giving to ANYTHING by choice is better than being forced to make a "donation" to the U of M athletic dept to retain your high priced tickets!


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

By your rationale, no one should donate money to Mott. It is a huge organization with highly paid professionals that receives large amounts of funding from the government. I am merely pointing out how simplistic the OC is and donate money to Mott myself. People can give away money as they choose. Some people value the 60 years of Blimpys.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

Just saying...a lot of organizations relied on Blimpy's for his generosity. Rich has been a big supporter, both financially and socially, of many, many school events and sports programs.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:12 a.m.

I don't like what I'm hearing. Last Supper? Who's getting crucified?

Usual Suspect

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.


Becky H

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.



Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

Becky, I agree, someone please get me a box of tissues! @dsponini, yes I voted you down!


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.



Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:19 a.m.

Maybe it's time to let Blimpy's go the way of the hula hoop, duck tails and saddle shoes. Too much has happened in the world of fast food in the past 60 years. Blimpy food is really not that good but it may have been in 1953.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 10:47 a.m.

It's food? I thought it was cheaper than food. (It's the only burger I will eat, btw.)


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

"Blimpy food is really not that good" Neither is the food at a myriad of restaurants in town that charge enough that they don't need a fundraiser!


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

which school of cuisine did you graduate from?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Later! I'll be at Elevation Burger for my rare burger fix from now on.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

And what do you think Blimpy Burgers will cost once they are paying market rates for rent? They'll have to change their motto from "cheaper than food" to "cheaper than Zingerman's (barely)".


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

bad location, and $6 gets you a medium sized burger with no fries or soda, elevated prices!

Speedy Squirrel

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

"Last Supper"? How gauche. I'll pass on the "charity" fundraiser.

An Arborigine

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Thanks to UM for destroying a tradition.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

UM kicked them out of town. You could be next.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

Clownfish What were the chances of her keeping the place even if she wanted, once the U of M wanted it?


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

They are not moving out of town. UM did not kick them out, the landlord sold the property and SHE kicked out Blimpy. Facts matter.

David Paris

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

Still better than the alternative!


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

I've hit my lifetime limit for Blimpy Burgers. One was plenty. Good luck with the move!

David Paris

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

Yea, I ate there once, too...


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

Uni wins as usual.Community loses as usual.

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

The restaurants in the Union are chains, Johnny. Not that hard to understand.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

1. Uni is PART of the community and many of those people living int he new dorms will win as well 2. The "community" never won anything from a greasy spoon diner that harkens back to memories that are fairly delusional. 3. Its a freaking restaurant, and the landlord who OWNS the property told them to get out. How many of you are screaming about the restaurants that are being moved out of the Union?

AA Neighbor

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

Oh, come on, "iconic"? Don't you own a dictionary? Burton Tower might be iconic if you really stretch it, but BB is just a good ol' greasy spoon of which AA used to have many.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 11:09 p.m.

AA A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something: Blimpy Burger IS representative of a bygone era! What is SO hard to understand about that?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

The inappropriate use of the word "iconic" has been a big peeve of mine lately... ...but in this case it fits. Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger is an Ann Arbor icon.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

What other place in town regularly has lines out the door? Where else can I get a quint or quad?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

I will miss seeing the Polar bears in the winter. Best of luck to them.

Boo Radley

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

Are they moving somewhere with no snow?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

I think that website is neat...but they forgot their long time employee...The African-American woman who was sassy and funny! I waited on her at my former job and she is so sweet and nice. I hope she will be at the new Blimpy's place.

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

Zeebot: They would if two sassy and funny women worked there, one white and one black. I'm not saying that's what's at play here, but I'm willing to give OP the benefit of a doubt.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Sorry, but I agree with Jack. I thought the same thing. I know your heart was in the right place, but you wouldn't have said "the white woman who was sassy and funny" to describe her if she was caucasian.

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

"I think that website is neat...but they forgot their long time employee...The African-American woman..." So they did hire a black woman? That's one for civil rights I guess. Why else would you mention her race?

The Picker

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

Devi !


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 10:39 p.m.

... she was there as early as the 70s.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

Are we talking about Ruby?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

WHAT'YA'HAV!?!?? She was there when I was in high school I believe....she's been there a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time...and I always looked forward to seeing her when I went.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

The jokes on UM; however. The grease mitigation on that site will make it years before they can even begin building.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

Wrong Eep---it's soylent green.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

Not to mention all the buried bones. Blimpy Burger is people!

Georgetown Dad

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

The end of an era . No matter what, the new locaiton could never be the same. (After all, they'll be foreced to have a customer batchroom.) But you can bet we'll eat there just the same! Good luck to them.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

No compound, new county regulations require that customers be sorted into batches based upon their ability to cogently and promptly place their orders.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

I'm assuming a typo and you meant bathroom. I thought if you served food you had to have a bathroom? Or did they let customers use the employee bathroom (which tend to be on the nasty side, IMO)?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Lizzy, Please help to find out where the Pizza shop next to Jimmy John's on Ann Street moved to.

pooh bear

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

they went out of business. they were da Vincis first and then Leonardo's. I miss them


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

@UloveM.....I loved that was privately owned, and I remember hearing the owner (or manager ?) saying it was hard to compete with others.....and then they were gone, no forwarding phone number or address available....


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

I think that place was Leonardo's Pizza.

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

@UloveM: OK. What pizza shop is it?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

Why don't they open a food cart -- at least until they can open the new location? That way, they could maintain some income without resorting to fundraisers...


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Maybe as a very temporary measure. The food would not be the same. The atmosphere definitely not the same. The service? Who knows? I hope they quickly raise their money, find a location (preferably with some nearby parking) and go pack to the same formula that make AA happy for 60 years.

Lucas and Kevin

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

We are sorry to see this close, however, it's exciting to hear that they do plan on relocating. Blimpy is a favorite of ours, and we didn't want to see them close forever. The change could be exciting, but the old building will obviously be missed.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Wow, thats about 20x what I would pay for that food. It's poor value at it's normal menu prices. The fact that fundraising needs to occur tells me that this is very poorly run business. People have been pumping money into that place forever and $100 tickets to eat that greasy swill are being sold? I hope people let economic darwinism run it's course and donate their $100 to charity. Obviously this is a business that has been so poorly run that it deserves to go the way of the Dodo.

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

Sounds like maybe Matt owns another burger joint in town. Talking down the competition?

Lewis Colon

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Hopefully Matt isn't a student/graduate of the Business School...

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

@matt: I suppose they could have made quite a bit more profit if they didn't grind the meat fresh every day on site. And instead of battering their own onion rings, they could buy them frozen from sysco. Btw, where else can I get a draily fresh ground burger in A2, and what's it cost? Anything else you can teach one of the oldest restaurants in a2? There are probably all sorts of corners they could cut to boost profits.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

If they were an intelligently run business they'd have their own million. There are lines out the door at Rick's and that place is a low class dump too. Nice attempt at logic though.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

The lines out the door suggest it is a widely loved business. Maybe you have a million+ bucks so they can buy their own property.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

More greasy swill for us!!! Dibs on the onion rings!


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

matt The only obvious thing is you don't know what you are talking about! If this business was so poorly run WHY didn't they go out of business instead of having the property bought out from under them?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Maybe it's the opposite. Sounds like smart business to me. Good old supply and demand. Take it if you can get it. Last blimpy to the highest bidder.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Then don't buy a ticket! & don't eat the greasy burgers...


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Does anyone know if Blimpy is the oldest restaurant in Ann Arbor, or at least the oldest that's continuously operated at the same location? I know that Metzgers is older, but they moved out to Scio Township a few years ago. Any others?

Boo Radley

Tue, Aug 13, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

Weber's opened their restaurant in 1937. The hotel was built later.

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Count out the Fleetwood - only in operation since 1972 when Mark Hodesh founded it.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

The Old Heidelberg has got to be close.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Cottage Inn is a winner! From their website: The first Cottage Inn restaurant opened it's doors at 512 East William, Ann Arbor in 1948.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Cottage Inn is up there. I think it may be older than Krazy Jim's. I used to eat lunch at Krazy Jim's just about every day when I was an undergrad - a long time ago. I lived almost across the street. Every time I return to A2, I would return to Krazy Jim's. It wont be the same now. I'll still be going to Campus corners and the Blue Front tho.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 10:39 a.m.

Bell's Diner moved out to Stadium some years ago - they used to be downtown. So, as old as it is, it hasn't operated in the same location. We need to know if the Brown Jug has moved and when the Fleetwood, and maybe the Cloverleaf, opened.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

@ahuronparent, Bell's Diner is out on Stadium Blvd. You're thinking of Bell's Pizza at Packard and State. Bell's Pizza is 30 or 40 years old - and Bell's Diner is also old, but I'm not sure how old.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

Maybe also Bell's Diner on Packard/State.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:13 p.m.

Other candidates I can think of, that I think were here in the early 80s anyhow, include Shalimar, the Cloverleaf, and the Fleetwood.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

Angelo's - 1956 - comes close. Is the Brown Jug in its original location, or has it moved over the years?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

Good question. So far I can only think of one - Brown Jug - 1938


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

How is this such a big story??? Burger joint loses it's lease. Has to move out of old, crappy building. Will move into likely less crappy building.

David Wizard

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

You're 0 for 2 so far in the comments, JP. I'm not sure I've ever seen a Voter Score below -50.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

Crappy building? That building is awesome. It's like a piece of Americana, or a little step back in time. How many greasy spoons do you see around like that? The number's dwindling every day. Plus, I like to sit at the window, do a little people watching, and I like the view of Division and Packard Streets.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

Change is not always good. The building is just fine, it's places like these that keep 'em coming back.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

What's that whining sound.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

Guessing you're not from here


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

Around here it is big news. It's either this or some story about a college donkey making a regrettable decision.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Ever been there?


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

Politicians have fundraisers all the time. If you don't like the idea don't contribute!


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

Blimpy Burger has been a charitable business in the community for many years. They have always given back to the community. Lets open our hearts and pocketbooks to keep this staple of Ann Arbor thriving.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

I think this is a wonderful way to help support a local business. If the U-M would stick to teaching and not try to be landlords then Rich wouldn't have to move. Maybe the University should let private industry run it's course with all other facets of operation other than teaching.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

@Tiny - :)


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

The UM has had student housing for a hundred years.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Perhaps Blimpy should have counter-threatened with imminent ptomaine.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

CLX, you obviously forgot that the U-M threatened eminent domain and would have been able to take it for much less. Either way, they were gonna get it. So yes, evil U


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

oh for goodness sake, the owner of the building sold it. If it wasn't the U, someone else may have coming knocking on the door for that property, and the owner was obviously amenable to selling it. I'll miss it, too, but the whole evil U. thing is getting old.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

I think it's wrong for to promote a fund raiser when the money is going into the pocket of the owner of Blimpy Burger. If any other restaurant, or store, in town decided to hold a fund raiser so they could pay less rent or renovate their space, would you also promote that?

Ed Kimball

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:39 p.m. writes lots of stories about events that cost money, including plays, concerts, sporting events, etc. for various for-profit and non-profit organizations. This doesn't seem much different, except it involves an A2 icon.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

Like paying Barracuda to move eight blocks?

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

They are not promoting it, it is news. Just like they report news of wildly successful businesses trying to get tax breaks. Like Sidetrack did in ypsi for their expansion.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

Y'know, I'm a veggie and I'm sad to see them having difficulties. They're an institution, one of the few links left to a different AA. I'd much rather see coverage of these unique restaurants than attention paid to national chains or other retail that contributes little to our town.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Your assessment would be accurate if but for one thing....Blimpy's isn't "any other restaurant" in this is a townie institution. I will be taking my child to eat there today for the first my father once did before me...and his father before him...


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

The U of M gets free publicity all the time and the pockets of the administrators are lined! Do you complain about that?

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

After 60 years, a popular Ann Arbor restaurant is closing its doors as U-M prepares to build a graduate student dorm on the site. I've been following the process as Blimpy Burger looks for a new location and U-M unveils its plans - and many readers have been curious. I believe, the fact that Blimpy is closing Wednesday and has plans for this fundraiser is a part of that months-long story I've been telling.

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

FYI: Rich said you won't be able to buy fundraising tickets online until later today, once they get the website completely set up.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

Yeah, the site is up, but the cart isn't working yet.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

All you procrastinators out there take a lesson.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

Fundraiser? How about raising money for a local charity?


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 4:35 p.m.

You clearly "don't get it"


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 8:58 a.m.

Blimpy Burger street cart? That's actually a fantastic idea! I have always thought Ann Arbor was lacking street vendors..

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Obviously he should let his business collapse, so he and his employees will be out on the street.


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.



Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

How about YOU do a fundraiser for a local charity?