Historical link between the North Loop and ‘Funky Town’

Frame Funkytown


Historical connection between the North Loop and ‘Funky Town’

January 27, 2023

Those of us old enough to remember 1980s disco are familiar with this song. It was a worldwide hit from the Minneapolis group Lips, Inc. and the man who wrote and recorded it, Steven Greenberg, and used the proceeds to start a new business in the North Loop.

1998 DesignStein espresso shop

1998 photo courtesy Hennepin County Library

I know it because in 1998 I was curious about this 1998 photo of the building now known as TractorWorks, where Bar La Grassa and Snack Bar are located.

Screen Shot 2023 01 27 at 10.58.42 AM

First of all, how could you hide the terracotta deer head at the entrance? Anyway, 25 years ago there was a big Designstein sign at the entrance.

2003 DesignStein

2003 Star Tribune

As you can see from this 2003 Designstein profile in the Star Tribune, it was a web design company with high-profile clients such as Hormel, Clairol and 3M. At that time, many companies were still not convinced that their website would become a valuable marketing tool. .

2003 DesignStein2

In the early days of Designstein (which started out as Planet Software), royalties from Funkytown funded their business. And Greenberg displayed gold and platinum records on the walls of his office on Washington Avenue.

Well, forget that song from your head for the rest of the day and good luck!😁🪩🕺🏻

Please Note: The Historic North Loop section has several pages on the history of the neighborhood.

Mike Binkley, North Loop Volunteer

I gotta move to a city that suits methe city that keeps me goingGet me groovin’ with some energy

Well I’ll talk about it, talk about ittalk about it talk about ittalk, talktalk about moving

I have to move onI have to move onI have to move on

can you take meFunky town?can you take meFunky town?can you take meFunky town?can you take meFunky town?


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