ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A historic building in downtown St. Cloud has been sold.

The former Searles building on 5th Avenue has a new owner. City officials say the deal was finalized on April 28th.

The new owner is Moises Morales.  He says the new restaurant will be called Tequila Town.  It could be opened as soon as July. Morales says they most likely start by opening the first two levels of the restaurant and then maybe expand up into the third level if the business goes well.

They will eventually need to go before the city council to request a liquor license.

Economic Development Director Cathy Mehelich says,

We’re excited to have a new owner investor in the downtown property and reuse of the restaurant space!

The building has sat empty for about a year. The previous owners of Searles on Fifth announced in June of 2022 that they were closing permanently, although they had already been closed for several months by that time. Searles on Fifth opened in February 2020 just as COVID-19 was beginning.

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Prior to that the building which takes up three floors was known as D.B. Searles, which closed in 2018.

The building dates back to 1886.

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