ST. CLOUD - I'm someone who enjoys spending time in downtown St. Cloud. So, it's frustrating to me that there's continues to be this misconception about what our "new" downtown is all about, and everything that it has to offer.  Whether it's on social media sites, acquaintances, or even my own colleagues, I keep hearing the same comments: "there's nothing downtown anymore", "it's just for college kids", "don't you feel old being downtown?", or "its not safe".

In my humble opinion, these comments could not be further from the truth, and at 46-years-old my college days are well behind me.  So, here are just a few of the reasons why I love downtown St. Cloud, and why I think you should come back to downtown (if it's been a while since you've been there.)

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The Food:
There are lots of great restaurants to choose from. My favorites:
Kohinoor Bar & Grill (give Indian food a try, you won't be disappointed)
The White Horse
The Pickled Loon
Nick's Third Floor (above D.B. Searles)
Howie's Sports Bar (In my opinion, the best wings in town)
The Green Mill (Hello, their pizza is awesome)
The Martini Lounge (Did you know they offer free apps., with a two drink minimum?)

The Cocktails:
There's a nice mix of bars in downtown St. Cloud right now, from the more upscale places to the bars catering to the college kids.  And I can honestly say I don't fee out of place in any of them.  My favorites:
Beaver Island Brewing Co. (good beer, and a great vibe)
D.B. Searles (Great atmosphere. Emily is one of the friendliest waitresses in town)
MC's Dugout
Cowboy Jack's (You can't beat their daily $2 happy hours)
Konrad's Bistro and Wine Bar

And, I'm anxious to try out the new 7 West Taphouse. Quick serve burgers, and 50 craft beers on tap, what's not to love?

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The Shopping:
To be honest, I'm not a huge shopper, but there's more to choose from all the time downtown.  My favorites:
Herberger's (Recently bought my tie there for Holly Ball)
Fitzharris Ski and Sport
Marishka's
(Antique store)
BumbleDee's (Antique store)

Paramount Theatre (Facebook)

The Entertainment:
We've got two great theaters in the downtown that have live entertainment happening almost every single night of the week.  If you haven't taken in a play, live music, or musical lately, you're missing out.

Paramount Theatre
Pioneer Place on Fifth/Veranda Lounge

Other places have live music on a regular basis too, like the Pickled Loon, and the Red Carpet.  The Green Mill has live music out on their patio every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the summer.

River's Edge Convention Center

The River's Edge Convention Center:
For whatever reason, there's a common misconception in the community that the Convention Center is a white elephant that is a drain on the city's budget.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It's actually self sufficient, and doesn't cost city property owners anything.  And, they regularly have some great events that are open to the public.  As I am writing this they're getting ready for the annual Kennel Club Dog show this weekend.  Last weekend over 2,400 people attended the annual Holly Ball fundraiser there.  And, a couple weeks ago Townsquare Media had our own Made In Minnesota event there, with an estimated 5,000 people showing-up.

Finally, after a night out on the town, when I'm ready to go home catching a cab is very easy and convenient.  (It's about a $10 fare from 5th Avenue to my home).

So there you go.  Just a few of the reasons why I think you need to give downtown St. Cloud another try.  And, if you bump into me be sure to say "hi".