Blimpy Burger

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Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger
Industry Fast food restaurant
Founded 1953; 65 years ago (1953)
Founder Jim Shafer
Headquarters Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Number of locations
Products Hamburgers, onion rings
Owner Rich Magner

Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger is a fast food restaurant based in Ann Arbor, Michigan known for its burgers and fried onion rings.[1]


Blimpy Burgers was found in 1953 by Jim Shafer at 551 South Division Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1969, Rich Magner began working at Blimpy as a student.[2]

In 1993, Rich Magner returned to work at Blimpy and purchased the business but not the property.[2]

In the new century, Blimpy began getting coverage by various food TV shows. In 2008, Blimpy was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.[3] An episode of Man v. Food filmed on September 7, 2010 also featured the restaurant.[4] The July 23, 2012 issue of USA Today named Blimpy a "10 great places for regional fast-food treasures".[5] Blimpy was featured on the Travel Channel show Hamburger Paradise on October 10, 2012 as a top U.S. hamburger restaurant.[3]

In late 2012, the property’s owner and founder's widow, Patricia Shafer, sold the property to the University of Michigan[2] for $1.075 million, none of which went to Blimpy Burgers or its owner.[6] Blimpy must vacate the Division Street location by August 31, 2013 thus Blimpy will shut down earlier to pack up equipment to leave the building. As of July 30, Magner was in negotiations for two downtown locations and expected a temporary lapse in operations.[7] Blimpy closed at the Division Street location on Wednesday August 14.[8]

Blimpy held a $100 fund-raising dinner just before they closed. Find that the cost to relocate and remodel was $330,000, the owners launched a campaign on Indiegogo and other fundraising activities. The Indiegogo campaign raised $20,396 of its $60,000 goal[9] while giving rewards to donors like bumper stickers and gift cards.[6] Magner is also looking for investors for the business to raise the needed funds as $150,000 in funds is need for a bank loan.[6]

In April 2014, Magner signed a lease for a new location in downtown Ann Arbor at 304 S. Ashley St., the former Eastern Flame restaurant space, with expectations to open in late June.[10] While missing the original planned opening month of June by August 14 most construction work was done on the new location. Blimpy was awaiting inspections and hire & train new employees before opening.[11] Blimpy Burger had a soft reopening on September 25, 2014 with a grand reopening to occur the next week.[12]


  • 10th place, Michigan's Best Burger 2013, Mlive Media Group[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Burgers, Rings and Fries". Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Food Network. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Alfs, Lizzy (December 6, 2012). "Owner: Blimpy Burger must move as University of Michigan buys building". Ann Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b Webster, Jessica (October 24, 2012). "Food & Grocery: Ann Arbor's Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger featured on Travel Channel". Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  4. ^ McKee, Jenn (September 7, 2010). "'Man v. Food' filming at Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger today". Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  5. ^ "10 great places for regional fast-food treasures". USA Today. Gannett Company. July 23, 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Alfs, Lizzy (December 16, 2013). "Blimpy Burger owner seeks investors to help reopen restaurant". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  7. ^ Alfs, Lizzy (July 30, 2013). "Ann Arbor's Blimpy Burger to close in August; What's next?". Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  8. ^ Webster, Jessica. (August 14, 2013) My last pilgrimage to Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger.
  9. ^ Cowley, Stacy (February 12, 2014). "Retail Businesses That Try Crowdfunding Face Some Skepticism". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  10. ^ Alfs, Lizzy (April 19, 2014). "Blimpy Burger signs lease for new restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor". The Ann Arbor News. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  11. ^ Alfs, Lizzy (August 14, 2014). "One year after Blimpy Burger's closing, work at new site underway". Ann Arbor News. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  12. ^ Alfs, Lizzy (September 25, 2014). "Blimpy Burger staff conducts trial run ahead of opening in new downtown Ann Arbor location". The Ann Arbor News. MLive Media Group. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  13. ^ Gonzalez, John (June 19, 2013). "Michigan's Best Burger 2013: Our Top 10 list, and more!". Mlive Media Group. Retrieved May 5, 2014.

External links[edit]