Blue Front Ann Arbor to close its doors by end of June

The beer and wine specialty store must sell its inventory by June 28

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Located on the corner of Packard Street and Arbor Street, Blue Front Ann Arbor has announced that it will close its doors by the end of June. 

Now a specialty craft beer and wine store, Blue Front has a long history in Ann Arbor. The store has sold cigars, toys, candy, newspapers and liquor during its long life.

Currently owned by Steve Blinder, who purchased the spot almost three years ago,  Blue Front is trying to liquidate its large beer and wine inventory by June 28. 

Partially attributing the closure to the COVID-19 pandemic, Blinder said that the business has been completely closed since March, right after he received a large inventory shipment in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day.

“We were definitely losing a little money before COVID,” said Blinder, explaining that while Blue Front had a large following and reputation, its niche market contributed to a loss in profits. He still had to pay expenses while the store was closed and it had started to pull on his personal finances. 

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Having grown up in Ann Arbor a few blocks from Blue Front years before he purchased it, Blinder is sad to see his involvement with the historic business end, but is optimistic for its future.

Currently, he is in negotiations with a party to take over the spot.

“Even if we don’t get a deal done, I know the Blue Front will live on. Someone else will come in and take it over,” said Blinder.  

Nevertheless, he is thankful for his customers who have supported Blue Front over the years, some of whom have traveled to the Ann Arbor store from Toledo and Grand Rapids. 

Right now, the store is offering items that have been marked down in price by 20% to 50%. Orders of $150 or more will also receive an additional 14% discount, further lowering prices. 

Blinder said that Blue Front still has a lot of its inventory left and he is adding freebies to orders, like T-shirts and other logo gear. 

The store does not have open hours so all orders must be placed for pick up through its online store or through its mobile application. 

Blue Front Ann Arbor is at 701 Packard St.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.