ST. CLOUD -- The Veranda Lounge and Pioneer Place Theater in downtown St. Cloud is officially under new ownership. Ray Herrington says he and his business partners Steven Letnes and Peter Poepping closed on the sale of the building last Wednesday, and the city council approved the transfer of the liquor license Monday night.

It is the same ownership team that owns 7 West Taphouse, and they are also involved in the Olde Brick House.

Herrington says it was important to them that the entertainment venue stay open.

We didn't want to see the Pioneer Place and Veranda Lounge go away, like some of the other businesses downtown.  We thought it was very important for us not only as business owners but just as citizens of St. Cloud that this very important gem stay operational.

Herrington says they are going to contract out with a company based out of St. Michael for booking their entertainment.

He says they don't plan to change the name and want to keep the same vibe and feel. However, you should notice some drastic changes to the building over the course of the next year.

Herrington says a lot of people recognized the importance of keeping the entertainment business going.

The city has been very cooperative and helpful.  They realize how important it is to keep the place fully functioning.  The Barth's have been wonderful through the whole process, trying to help us learn a whole new business.

Mark and Dan Barth had owned and operated the Veranda Lounge and Pioneer Place Theater since 1997.