"Downtown St. Cloud Sets Stage for Live Music"

Excerpt from a St. Cloud Times story by Marty Sundval published Thursday, Aug. 15, 2002.

The stage area is packed to the walls on this particular Thursday night. A hint of incense wafts from a side table near the stage as the Stearns County Pachanga Society, a throw-together group of musicians, lays down a Latin-laced tribal groove.

Dancers in front jump and twirl to the beat, stirring the room’s energy. Others along the side and back keep rhythm with drums and various shakers. The whole room feels the groove and few, if any, can sit still.

A drummer leaps off the stage after the set, a big smile on his face and a hint of sweat seeping through his reddish shirt. "There is magic in this room!" he exclaims as he bounds toward the Tavern on German restrooms.

The Tavern has struck paydirt with weekly gigs from the likes of Deep 7, the Stearns County Pachanga Society and Buddwa Mambo’s. "I think bands have put the Tavern’s name on the map of St. Cloud music places," said Dave Copa of the Tavern on Germain. "It’s given us a focal point for attracting crowds where we don’t have to give away beer or anything. We can attract with entertainment."

Aside from Deep 7, the Pachanga Society has perhaps been the biggest new draw at the Tavern.

Copa could not specifically say by what percentage business has increased Thursdays when the Pachanga Society plays, but even a casual observation indicates patronage has boomed.

"Thursdays have picked up a lot. I just gave (the Pachanga Society) a raise," Copa said.