As reported over the weekend by our sister station WJON, the owner of the Press Bar and Parlor has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

According to an article in the Star/Tribune, it seems that there were some other factors possibly leading up to the demise of the historic downtown bar.

Apparently in November of last year a judge had ordered Welsh to sell the bar.

In November, a Stearns County judge ordered Andy Welsh to sell his St. Cloud business, the storied downtown Press Bar and Parlor, and split the money with his wife as part of their divorce agreement.

There were mounting bills from some projects that had been done.  Many had noticed the remodeled upstairs area of the Press.

Leading up to his arrest, the 40-year-old bar owner, who also owns a farm and landscaping business, faced tens of thousands of dollars in debt, a turmoil exacerbated by lawsuits from contractors accusing Welsh of failing to pay for services, according to civil court records.

Welsh is expected to be formally charged today (Tuesday).  In a statement from his attorney, Welsh is expected to plead not guilty.

Andy is absolutely innocent. He has been arrested for a crime that he did not commit, and if charged by the government, he will be acquitted at trial,” his attorney Ryan Garry said. “He is a good man and a loving father, has no criminal history, and should have never been arrested.

We will update as more information becomes available.

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