ST. CLOUD -- A new downtown St. Cloud business is hoping to assist restaurant workers left temporarily jobless following a devastating fire at the Press Bar and Parlor.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Searles on Fifth Ave, located in the former D.B. Searles location, invited the employees of Cowboy Jack's to drop by and apply for openings.

"We have chatted with Cowboy Jack's and gained their permission to post and invite you to come apply if you are AWESOME! We know you need hours and we are opening soon," the post reads.

Cowboy Jack's, located next to the former site of the Press Bar, is temporarily closed due to heavy smoke and water damage sustained during the early Monday morning firefight.

Searles co-owner Michelle Agnew says her husband and Searle's co-owner Darin reached out to the management team of Cowboy Jack's beforehand to make sure they were comfortable with the offer.

"We know there's a number of folks that count on (their jobs)," Agnew said. "They live paycheck to paycheck. They need those hours to support their families and pay their bills. We are happy to adopt those staff and give them a place to call home for a little while."

Agnew says they are seeking bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff.

Press Bar fire. Feb. 17, 2020 (Abby Faulkner)
Press Bar fire. Feb. 17, 2020 (Abby Faulkner)

"It really matters," she said. "It's just the right thing to do. Downtown is a special neighborhood. We just want to make sure everyone is looked after."

Searles is hosting a private function on Wednesday evening. Agnew says they plan to open their doors to the public within the next week.

The reopening timeline for Cowboy Jack's is unclear. In a Tuesday Facebook post, the bar and restaurant, which shared a wall with the Press, reported they plan to begin cleaning and remodeling once electricity is restored to the building.

"We are not going anywhere," the post states.

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