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The History Behind Dinkytown

The History Behind Dinkytown

The History Behind Dinkytown
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Welcome to Dinkytown Hub

A vibrant 6-block section of Minneapolis attached to the University of Minnesota campus, it is famous for both its unique history and for a wide variety of popular restaurants, stores, entertainment, services, and apartments. This online community was created as a database for all of these storefronts. Owners can claim and edit their pages, and users can search for and review their favorite spots around town. The blog section updates Dinkytown residents and visitors on the most recent news and events, and our store offers “Dinkytown, Minnesota” branded apparel.

Dinkytown History Image 
  
 In the 1950’s and 1960’s the 10 O’Clock Scholar was where Dinkytown’s musical roots began. The small café, which was located where Your Yoga is today, is where it all started. Well-known musicians such as Spider John Koerner, Dave Ray, and the legendary Bob Dylan spent the early days of their performance careers here. Many locals began to appreciate this new style of music known as folk. In fact, Dinkytown became one of the early hotspots of new culture in the 1960’s. As the University of Minnesota began to grow into one of the country’s largest universities, Dinkytown grew up alongside it.

 
 

Young Bob Dylan in Dinkytown

The now famous musician enrolled in the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1959.  His real name was Robert Zimmerman, but while in Dinkytown he started to refer to himself as “Bob Dylan” after becoming familiar with the poetry of Dylan Thomas. He lived in an apartment on the second floor of Gray’s Drug Store on 14th avenue and 4th street, now known as Loring Pasta Bar. This is believed to be the inspiration for Dylan’s song “Positively 4th Street”. He soon got involved in the Dinkytown folk music scene, playing at local establishments.  He dropped out of college his freshman year and stayed in Minneapolis for just one more year, moving to New York City in 1961.

 

Dinkytown MuralsAs a way of remembering the unique history of the area, Dinkytown commissioned a graphic designer to paint murals that depict its past. As you walk around Dinkytown, you will notice these eye-catching works of art on the sides of businesses. Tourists will often pose for a picture in front of them, as they realize what a rich, diverse & unique area Dinkytown is.

 
View All Murals
 
 

Image of Dinkytown Today

 

Dinkytown continues to celebrate its musical roots today. The Varsity Theater hosts a variety of talented performers from actors to musicians to dancers. The Kitty Cat Klub and Loring play host to some of the most talented musicians in a unique and stylish atmosphere. Dinkytown is becoming even more diverse, as is the University of Minnesota. On any day you can find a mix of students, locals, visitors & tourists around the 6-block area. Dinkytown continues to carry a cool and eccentric vibe, only fitting for such a strange name.

 

About Ryan

Ryan is a student at the University of Minnesota studying business. He lives in Dinkytown and writes about Gophers sports.
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