Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So Long, Blimpy Burger (For Now)

Today's the last day to get a burger at the current Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbor.  The owners announced a while back that they would be forced to move after the original owner, who still owned the property, decided to sell out to the University of Michigan to make way for more dormitories. 

I went there on Monday afternoon at 3:45 in the afternoon.  I checked my watch to see how long I'd have to wait once I got my food.  I ended up being in line for about 45 minutes.  The line wasn't as long when I first arrived, but when I left, it was probably a good 30 feet longer when I left. 

I ordered a quint, with bacon, fried egg, cheddar, and a side of fries.  As I waited in line, I kept hoping the table by the window that looks out over Division and Packard Streets would be open for me to sit down.  Because it was so cramped in there, I didn't want to sit in the middle of the restaurants surrounded by people on both sides of me staring at my food.

Lucky me, I got to sit exactly where I wanted.  I didn't mind the long wait and I knew going there another day or two later, I'd have had to stand in line for hours.  The burger was as delicious as it was unhealthy, something the restaurant prides itself on.  Their fries were always average and I wished I had a smaller order. 

By the time I had left, it was an hour later from when I first arrived.  I parked my car far away enough to at least burn a few calories.

I'm going to miss the place, even though I have only been there a few times.  The owner is looking for another place to resume business.  I hope he finds it, but no matter how much the same the food is, it won't be like the original, even though I think this current stop is/was the third location (they've been in business since 1953). has written extensively about the move in the past few months after it was announced in the spring that they'd have to move.  Most of the comments section were favorable towards the restaurant and some had some acrimony towards the University of Michigan for buying up the land. 

If there's one thing I've learned from all of this, it's the parallels you can draw between Blimpy and when the Tigers left their stadium on Michigan and Trumbull for Comerica Park.  Neither location was the original, but it's the place we've identified with.  Same product, but it doesn't feel the same.


ps - The Cheesecake Factory opened officially yesterday in Novi, a day before Blimpy closes its doors.  People waited as much as four hours by the end of the day to be seated.  Usually, I'd say no food is worth that much wait time, but at least if you're going to Blimpy, you're going to there for the last time.  Cheesecake will still be there.  I promise.

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