Strip club owner's controversial restaurant set to open its doors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Strip club owner's controversial restaurant set to open its doors

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) -  The controversial Cordova club that many community members thought would be a strip club will open its doors next month.
Adult business owner Steve Cooper's venue started out as La Italiano and then changed its name to Ocean Club. Now, it's called Stella Marris, meaning 'star of the sea' to emphasize the 35 types of seafood that will be served.  

The marble tables and cherry wood chairs are already in place at Stella Marris Coastal Cuisine and Lounge.

"We have 320 seats of dining. We've got a banquet facility upstairs with a banquet kitchen. It's 15,000 square feet," said general manager Craig Patton.

Patton formerly ran Pat O'Brien's on Beale Street. He says he laughed when he heard people thought Stella Marris would be a strip club.

He says he understands people's skepticism, considering Cooper does own strip clubs. But, Patton says, Cooper is branching out.

He also plans to open a family-oriented sports and game restaurant just a few hundred yards from Stella Marris.

And although the club will have music and dancing, no one will be removing their clothing.

"It's too nice for a strip club. There's no stages. The place would have to be completely renovated," he said.

He says the opulent, marble-heavy décor is unusual for the Mid-South.

"You get this stuff in Vegas," he said.

Stella Marris is hiring. They hope to employ about 120 people - mostly servers and bartenders.


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