Biology 701 is a new lounge and bar in downtown St. Cloud that caters to the GLBT and Vegetarian community, however, Biology 701 welcomes all.
Charles Severson, a St. Cloud resident originally from St. Paul and owner of Biology 701, wanted to bring to St. Cloud what he believes is missing.
“Once I moved up here and started to get immersed in the community I saw a real lack of this [GLBT] kind of venue. The other thing we found a lack of was vegetarian food and healthy options. A lot of the bars around here, and restaurants, are fried food and real heavy stuff,” Severson said, “we’re looking to a lighter, healthier option.”
This isn’t Severson’s first adventure with owning a GLBT venue. “I owned a bar in St. Paul called ‘Rumors and Innuendo,’ I owned that for about a year and ended up selling out to my business partner.” Unfortunately for ‘Rumors and Innuendo,’ the Light Rail construction in St. Paul passed right in front of the establishment forcing it to close.
Biology 701 is not strictly a GLBT bar nor strictly a Vegetarian restaurant. It will cater to the GLBT community however, because Severson feels there is a serious lack of that in St. Cloud.
“We’re going with a couple of different things. During the day and during the week/lunch time hours we’ll have quieter music, it will be more of a lounge type feeling, lounge furniture, perhaps some background jazz,” Severson explained, “at night and on the weekends it will pump up more into a dance floor. There will be lights, a Disc Jockey and we’ll push the furniture away.”
Severson isn’t the only one who thinks St. Cloud is ready for a GLBT establishment.
Lance Pemberton, a senior studying Political Science, is the community advisor for the LGBTA Pride Living Community on SCSU.
“I think St. Cloud is definitely ready for a GLBT bar, I think campus is especially ready,” said Pemberton.
“We’re on the verge of St. Clouds second annual pride march, the first one was an overwhelming success. There’s a huge gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community, we’ve gotten a lot of support so far,” Severson elaborated.
St. Cloud State held it’s second annual ‘Above the Clouds Pride March’ this past July and ‘St. Cloud Pride’ will be held on September 23rd – 25th.
Unfortunately Biology 701 will not be open for St. Cloud Pride this year, but they do plan to open between October 15th and 31st. Their opening date depends on a City Council meeting on October 10th which will determine if they get their license or not.
When it does open, Biology 701 will offer many food, drink, and entertainment specials as well as an atmosphere that isn’t prevalent in St. Cloud bars.
“The atmosphere we are looking for is a little bit more of an upscale venue. From my experience in a lot of bars around here, and I don’t have any problems with them, but it’s a little more on the grunge side, not super clean. We’re looking for more of a crisp feeling, a little more upscale, more classy,” Severson elaborates, “basically we want to just do something completely different. When our customers walk in the door we want them to go ‘Wow!’”
Aside from just a different atmosphere, they will offer different food and drink options.
“The idea we came up with is we’re going to have a section for carnivores and a section for herbivores, and a little section for everyone,” Severson explained, stating that the price range should be middle range.
Biology 701 will be 21+ at night to begin with, and will offer interesting drink specials with some playing off the name of the bar itself.
Whether St. Cloud is ready or not for a GLBT lounge/bar, one fact stands according to Pemberton, “it’s exciting to have a bar where straight people and gay people will be accepted equally.”