The Press Bar site is sitting vacant waiting to see what will become of it in the future. Photo credit: Sarah Bunich
Downtown St. Cloud this past spring lost a popular and long-standing business when the Press Bar burned down after the owner started a fire in the basement.
Since the spring the site was full of debris, over the summer the city of St. Cloud worked with the courts and owner to legally work on the site to clear out the rest of the debris and clean up the site as much as they can.
“There were a lot of legalities the city had to go through to be able to clean out the rest of the debris because the site is still privately owned,” Dave Kleis, Mayor of St Cloud, said.
Since the city paid for all the contractors and companies to clean up the debris the cost will go on to the selling price of the property or to the owner if they do not sell it.
Since the site is sitting empty, community members have looked at how the downtown area has changed over the years and are now looking forward to what is to come for the site.
Bill Jones, a longtime resident of St Cloud, states that he has seen the downtown area change a lot over the decades and that even though it was sad to see the Press Bar go the way it did. it was time for it to move on too.
Both Kleis and Jones believe that whatever goes into the old Press Bar site it should accent and work with the existing business and culture downtown St Cloud already has. Even if it means turning it into a park to hold events at, a restaurant, or another bar.