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Friday, December 19, 2014

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Blimpy Burger to return to downtown Ann Arbor

By Rachel Premack, Daily News Editor
Published April 18, 2014

Ann Arborites, rejoice: Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger announced its new location Friday, aiming to reopen in late June at 304 S. Ashley Street.

The new location is the former home of the Eastern Flame restaurant, which served Indian and Mediterranean food before it closed last year. The space is on the corner of W. Liberty and S. Ashley streets.

The 551 S. Division Street location closed August after the University purchased the property for $1.075 million to make way for Munger Graduate Residences , much to the discontent of Ann Arbor residents and students.

However, Blimpy Burger did not receive money from the sale as a displaced tenant. Owner Rich Magner started an Indiegogo campaign to ensure the 60-year-old Ann Arbor icon could continue divvying up five-patty burgers and deep-fried veggies.

The campaign began Dec. 13, 2013 and ended Jan. 25, 2014. It raised more than $20,000 — falling short of its $60,000 goal.

“Thank you again for having faith in us and pushing us to make this happen,” Blimpy Burger’s Facebook page wrote in a post Friday. “We are blessed to be a part of this community.”

According to the Indiegogo description, reopening would cost more than $300,000. Funds were needed for construction costs, architect fees, new inventory, kitchen and dining area equipment and other expenses.

In a Dec. 2013 interview with The Michigan Daily, when Blimpy Burger announced its new location, Magner said construction would take three to four months. It would open in March at the earliest or perhaps at the end of April, adding there are “usually delays.”

Magner said in December the location is as close to the original as possible and is nearby campus.

“It has been a long and complicated process and we appreciate your patience and support,” the Facebook post read. “We look forward to serving you in a couple months!”