OT: I want to punch a dolphin -- Blimpy Burger is closing

Submitted by JamesBondHerpesMeds on August 12th, 2013 at 10:15 PM


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.

I'm sure we can find a way to blame Dave Brandon for this.

I know, I know -- it's moving somewhere else. But...man. This place is an icon. No longer will insatiable coeds be able to trudge through the snow from West Quad to indulge in a quint and get acosted by the fry lady.


Bando Calrissian

August 12th, 2013 at 10:19 PM ^

Well, it's moving to a new location, so we will be overpaying for a decent burger in a new joint before the year is over.

Though I will add that the plan for the graduate residence hall going up in its place is completely harebrained. 

Bando Calrissian

August 12th, 2013 at 11:46 PM ^

The donation was well-meaning, but the premise for the project is fundamentally flawed. There aren't too many graduate students that are going to sign on to live in a dorm-style seven-bedroom apartment with a shared kitchen and common space. And putting 600 graduate students from different disciplines in the same building with the expectation they'll magically start "collaborating" in their living space is pretty much asking for a pig to fly. That's not how graduate education and research works.

Ultimately, what we're probably looking at is a 600-bed dorm for single international students in science programs, for whom collaboration happens in their particular labs, not where they go at night for rare moments to eat and sleep.


August 13th, 2013 at 7:30 AM ^

I don't think you know what you are talking about. Collaborations occur mainly within the University to work at. And more importantly, collaborations are becoming more and more diverse with numerous disciplines working together. Microfluidics, meta genomics, systems biology, super-resolution microscopy, bio-polymer studies, etc. all rely on cross-disciplines. And collaborative efforts usually start by going to someone you have met or know well from either your own university, conferences, or from guest speaking events. 

Doc Brown

August 13th, 2013 at 8:12 AM ^

I usually never agree with you but you are 100% accurate. When I was in graduate school, you couldn't pay me to live in a dorm. Collaboration, good luck. When I stopped outside my lab for the few hours of freedom I had from my modern day serfdom, the last the thing I wanted to do was come up with a new collaboration. Those few hours were spent A. Drinking, B. Sleeping, C. At Michigan football and hockey games. Don't get me wrong I was dedicated to my research interests of metalloprotein dynamics, but I doubt a graduate dorm would entice me to form new collaborations. I would rather have blimpy burger than a new dorm. 

I usually formed collaborations with other researchers at conferences, meetings, or through word of mouth.


August 13th, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

Agree as well.  I've been in grad school twice now for completely different disciplines, and at no point would I have wanted to live with other students in a dorm.  Again, it is going to be a bunch of international students, which is a nice situation for them, but I don't see Masters students in Chemistry hanging out with Ph.D. candidates in French Literature.

Feat of Clay

August 14th, 2013 at 8:30 AM ^

Well, to be fair, I don't think that is the kind of cross-disciplinarity that they are aiming for.  Although of course you never know....

What I assume they want to have happen is that they lay the seeds of collaboration now; they may come to their fullest fruition when the person graduates and goes off to pursue their research agendas with a better concept of what other fields might contribute to their own.

One of the coolest projects I've run across at the U lately happened because a public health guy and a physics guy were in a community musical theatre production together and got to talking.  Honestly. 

As for the "dorm" living--I am surprised at the people in this thread who would turn down a fellowship with free housing because of the living arrangements.  I wish I had your bankbook.  I also assume they'll make the residence hall as nice as possible with the understanding that adults will be living there.

But this thread is super-old news.  What is news is the length of the lines at Blimpy this week!  They are really something.


August 13th, 2013 at 1:27 PM ^

I'm a couple years out of law school now, but I would have signed up for that in a heart-beat for my first year of law school.  Plenty of my fiancee and I's closest friends ended up being from other grad schools on campus (as you can only spend so much time with people in your discipline) and the shared facilities really aren't that different than shared facilities with any other random group of roomates you end up with.  Collaboration can easily happen when you are out having a beer with someone you are friends with and end up swapping stories about what you are doing all day, not neccesarily in the "we are going to write a paper together" sense, but at least in the "rapidly gaining a window into another era of study that makes you think about your own" sense.


August 13th, 2013 at 3:35 PM ^

If nothing else, it will be a nice option for first-year doctoral students moving in from out of state. Whether it gets embraced will likely depend on how the price point compares to the rooms for rent in all the houses on Ann and Catherine where most grad students live.

I'm skeptical about the collaborative possibilities, mainly for the reasons Prof X lists. Collaboration for young doctoral students happens first within their discipline, then outside. How do you collaborate much outside your discipline before you even really know what that discipline is.


August 13th, 2013 at 10:50 AM ^

Tell you gf you have found someone.  I love watching him, to me he's like a Bill Nye for food.  I've made many of his recipies and used a lot of his tips with great results.  I can understand why he's not for everyone but "consistently the worst on the food network" seems like quite a claim considering who else has a "cooking" show.  Caveat: this only applies to Good Eats, the other stuff he does it terrible imho.


August 12th, 2013 at 10:26 PM ^

You know that huge donation the university got earlier this year? yeah thats building this and the university had no option about where to spend the money.  We've also known this was coming for like 6 months.


August 12th, 2013 at 10:31 PM ^

if i owned blimpy burger i would totally use this as an opportunity to increase my revenue big time. money for new facility+proven and succesful concept+grand opening = $$$$$$$


August 12th, 2013 at 11:25 PM ^


On August 17th Begining at 12pm (noon), “The Last Supper” will commence. For your ticket price of $100, you will get one of only 40 seats available each hour, giving you a very personalized experience and a chance to meet others as Krazy about Blimpy as you are. You will take home some Blimpy memorabilia, including a custom t-shirt featuring never-before-seen Blimpy artwork and a postcard photo of the last snowbear of 2013. Everyone who purchases a ticket will receive an invitation to a private appreciation dinner at the new location. Finally, your ticket will be entered into a drawing for you own catered Blimpy event.


August 13th, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

The sad thing is that a move to a more central location will ultimately change Blimpy... on State or Main, it'd become a tourist attraction as much as a restaurant. There were always a few townies/people in town from Detroit or Jackson or Lansing to shop who would stop in, sure, but in a "better" location, they'd overwhelm the students. 

I just hope it doesn't move over by Briarwood or something. 


August 12th, 2013 at 10:35 PM ^

I tried to go at 9 pm today because I thought the line would be shorter but they already cut the line off. If you try to go in the these last couple days you will have to wait a long time.


August 12th, 2013 at 10:39 PM ^

My wife and I have plans to visit on Wednesday - the dislocation of Blimpy Burger is a sad moment for me as it is for many of us, it seems. The undercard to it for me is that, in the building of this new dorm, one of the steel poles at the intersection - the one I had to perform near-miracles to get set in that location at the corner where Blimpy sits for now - is marked for removal now. My dining and design memories both get shattered somehow because of this.