Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Monday February 27, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

Closing a Campus Landmark

Remembering the Blue Front in its prime

by Sally Mitani

From the March, 2014 issue

This isn't the first time there have been eulogies for the Blue Front, but this time, it's actually closing. Back in 1988, Lois Kane noted in this column that it had already changed owners three times since its heyday in the 1960s and '70s, when, she remembered fondly, "Sunday morning was the time when husbands fulfilled their domestic duties by going over to Ralph's Grocery to buy a bag of bagels ... Then they went next door to the Blue Front ... to buy a hefty, inky New York Times."

Mike Gould worked for original owner Ray Collins as a stock boy in 1965, making, he believes, "about $1.75 an hour." He writes: "My job was to haul in the morning newspapers. Sometimes early rising readers desperate for their fix would dig the New York Times out of the bundles and leave money on top or scattered around on the ground.

"We stocked several international magazines: Die Zeit, La Monde, USSR Magazine, and the like. Even some Chinese propaganda magazines. It was also one of the few places in town where you could get that era's soft porn magazines such as Stag, Man's Story, and Real Balls. I may have made that last one up, but you get the gist. We even had gay mags involving beefy guys dressed as sailors and such." And some customers came in--though probably not at their wives' direction--just to buy the Daily Racing Form: "It was printed on pink or green paper or something, and we sold five or ten of these every day."

Blue Front's closing will temporarily leave four contiguous empty storefronts on this formerly lively corner. One vacancy is finally being filled: a number of building permits have been issued for Get Some Burritos, a Wisconsin chain that will have a store in the former Oriental Express.    (end of article)

[Originally published in March, 2014.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Ann Arbor Shopping - Downtown Ypsilanti Ann Arbor Shopping - Downtown Ypsilanti
Ann Arbor Nightspots: Earle Ann Arbor Nightspots: Earle
Today's Events Today's Events
My Girlfriend Beru - A band name inspired by St... My Girlfriend Beru - A band name inspired by St...
Pale Flower - Japanese film noir Pale Flower - Japanese film noir
Photo: Groundcover News presents Jamie Morris Photo: Groundcover News presents Jamie Morris
The Robbery at My Neighborhood The Robbery at My Neighborhood
Taking Down the Tree - Schools find money in un... Taking Down the Tree - Schools find money in un...
Map of Restaurants that are Disability Friendly Map of Restaurants that are Disability Friendly
Mary Szybist - Longing for God Mary Szybist - Longing for God
spark
custom blinds and window treatments, flooring, and furniture
top of the lamp. All your in home lighting needs.
Become of Fan of the Ann Arbor Observer on Facebook
Your guide to summer camps and activities for kids.
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor