Dinkytown, USA, Grodnik
|— District —|
|Named for||Grodnik or Dinkys|
|City Council Ward||3|
|• Councilmember||Diane Hofstede|
|Elevation||830 ft (253 m)|
|Population (2007) |
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Dinkytown, USA (commonly Dinkytown) is an area within the Marcy Holmes neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Centered at 14th Avenue Southeast and 4th Street Southeast, the district contains several city blocks occupied by various small businesses, restaurants, food courts, bars, and the like, and apartment buildings mostly housing university students. Dinkytown is along the north side of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities East Bank campus.
Notable landmarks include the Dinky Dome (a former theological seminary converted to a food court), the Loring Pasta Bar (formerly Gray's Drug and also the building where Bob Dylan lived in Minneapolis), and Al's Breakfast (arguably the city's smallest restaurant). It's also the location of the 2nd store opened by Richard M. Schulze called "Sound of Music" which later became Best Buy.
Several landmarks are considered historic including Vescio's Italian restaurant, which opened in the 1950s, The Book House, and the House of Hanson grocery store. The former Marshall-University High School on the corner of 14th Avenue and 5th street was closed in 1982 due to low enrollment and was purchased and converted into the University Technology Enterprise Center (UTEC) for startups. The Chateau co-op built their brutalist-style 22-story apartment co-op in 1973 at 13th Avenue Southeast and 5th Street Southeast.
The name Dinkytown is of uncertain origin, although it was in definite use by 1948, when the Dinkytown Business Association formed.
Stories regarding the origin of the name include
- The streetcars, called Dinkys, that used to provide transit throughout the area.
- Similarly, the chicken tenders at the nearby railyard were called Dinkys due to their small but snackable size.
- The theatre in Dinkytown had only four rows of seats, and for years was known as "The Dinky Theater." Shortly thereafter, it was just "The Dinky."
- It's a small town-like area, with everything within walking distance.
- The Loring Pasta Bar, previously Gray's Drug on 14th Ave. SE and 4th St. SE has the name of an early owner carved in cement over the doorway: "Grodnik," meaning a small (or dinky) town. The name of the early owner was Louis Grodnik. He owned a haberdashery at that location and built the building. His brother, Hela Grodnik, always claimed that he was the one who named the area when he said that "This is getting to be a real 'Dinky Town." Hela then went on to work for another brother, Jacob Grodnik, at Grodnik Jewelry at 7th and Hennepin in Minneapolis. Louis also owned a haberdashery at 4th and Hennepin known as "Grodnik and Fassbinder".
- Then-Gopher football player Frank "Dinky" Rog, whose large group of friends spent much time down here in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
- Another conjecture which has been made is that "Grod" means "town" as in Stalingrad and that "nik" is the diminutive form. Hence small or dinky town.
- "Twin Cities Region Population and Household Estimates, 2006" (PDF). Metropolitan Council. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Table 2: Population Estimates for the 100 Most Populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas Based on July 1, 2006 Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. 2007-04-05. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Official Dinkytown Website Your guide and resource to the Dinkytown community.
- Lileks.com -- University of Minnesota pages -- contains information and reminiscence about Dinkytown, by Star Tribune columnist James Lileks
- Former Marshall High School
- The Dinkytown Project
Further reading