Stay in the Loop

North Loop’s Historic Connection To “Funkytown”

Those of us old enough to remember the discos of the 1980s know the song well: “Won’t you take me to… Funkytown?” It was a worldwide hit from the Minneapolis group, Lipps Inc. and the guy who wrote and recorded it, Steven Greenberg, used the proceeds to launch a new business in the North Loop.

1998 photo courtesy of Hennepin County Library

I only know that because I was curious about this 1998 photo of the building we now know as TractorWorks–or the place where Bar La Grassa and Snack Bar are.

First of all, how could they cover up the terra cotta deer heads at the entrance? But anyway, there was a big sign for Designstein over that entryway 25 years ago.

2003 Star Tribune

And as you can see from this 2003 profile of Designstein in the Star Tribune, it was a web design firm with big name clients like Hormel, Clairol and 3M–back when many corporations still weren’t quite sure that websites would be valuable marketing tools.

In the early years of Designstein (which started with the name Planet Software), royalties from Funkytown helped fund the business. And Greenberg displayed his gold and platinum records on the walls of his office on Washington Avenue.

Now, good luck getting that song out of your head for the rest of the day! 😁πŸͺ©πŸ•ΊπŸ»

A reminder: we have several pages of neighborhood history in our Historic North Loop section.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for meTown to keep me movin’Keep me groovin’ with some energy

Well, I talk about it, talk about itTalk about it, talk about itTalk about, talk aboutTalk about movin’

Gotta move onGotta move onGotta move on

Won’t you take me toFunkytown?Won’t you take me toFunkytown?Won’t you take me toFunkytown?Won’t you take me toFunkytown?

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