Earlier this summer, while most of the student population was away, Quickie Burger quietly shut its doors and boarded its windows. The manager, who made very little information about the closing available, did not reply to efforts for comment, so patrons of the burger joint can’t do much more than reflect upon their memories.
Quickie Burger opened in 2008 at State and Hill streets. Situated near plenty of student housing, it quickly became a popular burger joint among University of Michigan students. Some of Quickie Burger’s busiest days were Saturday home football games when thousands of passing tailgaters would stop to grab food.
Quickie Burger was not the most critically acclaimed burger place in Ann Arbor, but it was still able to attract lines out the door. In a 2009 MLive food review, Alan Warren wrote Quickie Burger had inherent appeal despite tough competition.
“Don’t get us wrong,” Warren wrote. “If we were a college student looking for a reasonably cheap, post-bar feed chased with a Pabst Blue Ribbon, or, say, a Jaeger Bomb, we’d likely be in line with the rest of the students at 2 a.m.”
Alongside other late-night hot spots, Quickie Burger held its own. Students flocked to the restaurant for pitchers of beer and stacked burgers, both before and after going out. Quickie Burger was a lively place that many students remember fondly.
Information rising senior Miguel Martinez found Quickie Burger before his first year at the University and was impressed with what the burger joint had to offer.
“A friend introduced me to Quickie one day during freshman orientation,” Martinez said. “They asked me if I wanted their secret sauce with my burger and I was conflicted but my friend urged me to try it, along with their signature fries. Needless to say, I was floored.”
Others, like Engineering rising senior Jonatan Hervoso, who shared his thoughts in an email interview with The Daily, found Quickie Burger to be a place of convenience and tradition.
“I heard about quickie burger (sic) for the first time during my freshman year and a few friends and I started going pretty frequently after rugby practice,” Hervoso wrote.
Quickie Burger had a signature vibe. There was no divider between the cash register and the kitchen, revealing the cooks flipping burgers and working the fryers. Beer taps lined the wall alongside a row of liquor. Stools sat across from the register counter, facing the window along State Street. One might not see it at first, but around the corner there were stairs that led down to a basement with table seating and televisions in each corner of the room. According to Quickie Burger patrons, the restaurant was small but friendly. It was often boisterous but still a great place to eat a burger and have some fun with friends, Quickie Burger fans told The Daily. Quickie Burger was not fine dining, but never set out to be.
“There wasn't much that I disliked other than maybe the cleanliness of the bathrooms,” Hervoso wrote. “However I always appreciated quickness of service and quality of food, again cheap but good.”
Now the building sits empty and quiet, with cardboard taped to the inside of the windows. No more burgers will be flipped or pitchers of beers consumed in the crowded basement. For many, it is a sad sight, and there is no doubt many students will be caught off guard without the State Street staple upon their return this fall.
Most patrons of Quickie Burger were unaware of the initial closing. For Martinez, it was surprising and saddening news.
“I found out one of the hardest ways: word of mouth,” Martinez said. “I remember when they stopped serving alcohol, but when I saw the cardboard on the windows, I knew the nightmare had come true.”
For other students, it became a time to reflect. Though Hervoso’s visits had become less frequent, he still felt the loss of the memorable dive.
“I was a bit sad to hear that it was closing down since I was going to live much closer to it next year and was excited for that,” Hervoso wrote. “My friends and I didn't go as often anymore so it closing down is not going to affect our social dynamic and much. We are all just a bit nostalgic.”
The future of Quickie Burger and its location are unknown. Martinez will be watching for its comeback.
“For me, I’ll be hoping that one day that secret sauce and the classic fries return in full glory to serve the students of (the University) and this city,” Martinez said.
Hervoso, while remembering the past, is hopeful for the future. The location is a prime spot for restaurants and the neighboring population will not be shrinking any time soon.
“I hope that the new location either maintains the same vibe as the old Quickie had or reinvents itself and brings even more good food to South Campus,” Hervoso said.
Even though the reason for the closing of Quickie Burger, its future and the future of the corner of State and Hill are uncertain, the memories of the students and residents who enjoyed the burger joint will be cherished. Quickie Burger may be replaced, but it will not be forgotten.