Owner plans to fight closure of Millington bar - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Owner plans to fight closure of Millington bar

Thorne Peters Thorne Peters

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Thorne Peters is not the owner of the Millington bar he was arrested at, as officials said last week - not even a manager.

In court Thursday, prosecutors argued the bar, Imbibrios, should remain closed forever.

"It remains the position of our office that bar needs to be permanently closed and never operate there again," prosecutor Paul Hagerman told the judge.

While landscapers keep the property neatly cut, the D.A.'s signs are still posted, and the doors remain locked at Imbibrios.  Before the closure becomes permanent, the state must first take the owner to court,which could prove tricky."

After the raid, Thorne Peters was hauled to jail in a blaze of glory.  He's still there on $400,000 bond, accused of selling drugs out of the bar.  But as it turns out, he doesn't own the bar, and he's not even listed as a manager.

Robert Lowrey of Smith Investments owns the building, and leased the space to a woman named Karen Abelsett back in August of 2008. 

"We had no knowledge of what was going on," he said.

Thursday, Lowery said he has not seen Abelsett since she signed the lease.  Prosecutors say she lives in California.

"We want them out...off the property, and get somebody in there that has some morals," he said.

A day manager named Patty Cutlip told the court that Abelsett planned to hire an attorney to fight to keep Imbibrios open.

The judge says he'll make a decision next week, and if bar owners don't show up to make their case, it will likely remain closed.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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