Here's a look back at a long-time historic restaurant in downtown St. Cloud.

D.B. Searle's is a popular nightspot and restaurant in downtown St. Cloud, named for one of the founding figures of the city.

D.B.  Searle was born in New York in 1840.  A graduate of Columbia Law School.  He came to St. Cloud in 1871.  He was St. Cloud's city attorney for 6 years and Stearns County attorney for two years.

One of Searle's claims to fame -- he was in attendance at Ford's Theater the night President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

He built the Searle building which still stands in downtown St. Cloud for $38,000. Over the years, the building housed two banks, Masonic Lodge, Pan Motor Company offices, and a funeral home.

In 1978 D.B. Searle's Restaurant and Bar opened, by Bill Naegele.  In 1984 bought by Jeff Celusta and his wife Holly.  In 1989, fire set off the sprinkler system, some miner smoke damage and water damage.

In April 1998, D.B. Searle's closed.  In August of 1998, Tom Emmer bought and opened the restaurant again.  In 2007, John Timmerman and Jocar purchased D.B. Searle's and are the current owners.

I recently had dinner at Searle's, a wonderful chicken Alfredo pasta and Raspberry pudding for dessert, that could feed 3 people.  A delightful evening of great food and atmosphere.

Dick Nelson talked with D.B. Searle's manager Matt Novak about the building, its significance and its use today. Listen to his interview below.