The world was outraged last week when Target unveiled a mock storefront in New York’s East Village designed to look like the legendary punk club CBGB. But no one had more cause to be indignant than those of us right here in Minnesota.
After all, here was our hometown big box conglomerate, headquartered right here in downtown Minneapolis, celebrating New York punk, when there’s still so much Twin Cities musical history that Target has failed to exploit.
Is there a Prince-themed Target? A Dylan-themed Target? An AmRep-themed target?
There are no such Targets.
But it’s not too late to make things right, Target. We have a few suggestions for how to transform our own defunct rock ‘n’ roll landmarks into glittering temples of historically significant commerce. Our consulting fee is negotiable.
Triple Rock Social Target
The Triple Rock Social Club was a gritty, boozy, beautiful punk rock cathedral for 19 years. The West Bank venue, which was co-owned by Dillinger Four guitarist Erik Funk, shut down in 2017, leaving a void of power chords in the Twin Cities. How to best carry on its punk AF legacy? By adding big-box retail’s younger, edgier bad boy. If Walmart is the bloated corpse of ‘70s AM rock (and, for our purposes, let’s just say it is), then Target is the Dead Boys, the Ramones, the Clash—a barbed, disruptive force hell-bent on wrecking the status quo. To further fortify this inarguable take, consider the fact that Gov. Mark Dayton, whose great-grandfather laid the seeds for Target Corp., just declared Warped Tour Day in Minnesota. What’s more authentically punk rock than the Warped Tour?
Bob Dylan’s Positively 5th Street Target
Bob Dylan loves selling stuff. Bras, cars, computers, whiskey—he’s advertised for ‘em all, and I’m sure he’d be thrilled to have a Target dedicated to his legacy. No area of Minneapolis is more thoroughly identified with Dylan than Dinkytown, which conveniently already has a Target on the corner of 5th and 13th, which can be retrofitted to incorporate facsimiles of such Dylan landmarks as Gray’s Campus Drugstore (above which he had an apartment) and the 10 O’Clock Scholar (where he performed). You’ve got a lot of nerve to think you can beat the prices at Bob Dylan’s Positively 5th Street Target.
Jay's Longhorn Target
The closest thing Minneapolis had it’s own CBGBs was this former club on 5th Street downtown—an ideal location for a culturally appropriative retail chain. It’s easily accessible by light rail, so tourists visiting the Mall of America who want a real Minneapolis experience can just hop on the train and travel back in time of the Replacements and Hüsker Dü. Currently the spot is nothing more an Xcel storage unit. Would a punk-themed Target Express decked out to look like the old Longhorn really be worse than that? OK, you’re right, it would be. But would it be that much worse?
Oar Folkjokeopus, the record shop on the corner of 26th and Lyndale, was a cornerstone of our fledgling ’70s rock scene. Now you can shop for toiletries, small electronics, and stylish but modestly priced home furnishings where the Replacements once bought Buzzcocks singles from their first manager, Peter Jesperson. Then you can head across the street to the C.C. Club and drink to forget what’s happened to your city.
Uptown Target & Bar
Goofy's Upper Deck, the Longhorn, and the Uptown Bar represent the holy trinity of Minneapolis’ ‘80s/’90s rock clubs. The latter lasted the longest, shuttering in 2009 after decades of sweatily triumphant gigs from the Replacements, Babes in Toyland, the Jayhawks, and so many others. Its replacement? An Apple Store. Label us hopeless regionalists all you like, but was it really appropriate to give the beloved space to a tech giant that’s headquartered in Cupertino, California? Let’s return that sacred ground to its Minneapolis roots by installing a Target Express, the compact and—dare we say?—more rock ‘n’ roll offshoot of Target. Bonus: How cool would it be to stock $5 graphic T-shirts of Uptown Bar regulars? We can already hear the neighboring condo dwellers clamoring for more Arcwelder tees!
First Avenue Luxury Condos & the 7th St. Target Express
First Ave is thriving today, but we’ve got to look to the future. Sooner or later, after all, every square inch of Minneapolis must become overpriced prefab dwelling units or Targets, so why not integrate housing and retail into our most storied music venue? With this combination of great music and great bargains, you could live your entire life in one building. Target logos will replace the stars on the outer walls to unite two great Minneapolis brands in perfect synergy.
Sure, Paisley Park remains open as a museum, but it’s no longer Prince’s hallowed studio/venue/sanctuary. From 1988 until Prince’s 2016 death inside the suburban compound, that’s exactly what it was—a mythic, boxy castle exploding with musical genius. At the same time, Chanhassen only has one Target store, and its 2.5 Yelp rating is a sign o’ the times: the southwestern ‘burb needs two Targets. Fortunately Paisley already has the structural makings of a big box store. Target Corp. could revamp it as a shiny new monument to retail savings (with plenty of exclusive Prince merch) while giving the crew at the old Target time to spruce things up. Clearly, it’s what Prince would’ve wanted.