Controversial lounge renovates, fueling strip club concerns - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Controversial lounge renovates, fueling strip club concerns

By Lori Brown - bio | email

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - A controversial restaurant in Cordova is closing for renovations, just eight months after it opened. Now some people are wondering if Stella Marris will re-open as a strip club, because the owner has a history in the adult entertainment business.

The doors to the club were locked Monday evening after at 3:00 p.m. staff meeting.

"Stella Marris is officially closed for at least six weeks for renovations," according to a Facebook post by the lounge this afternoon.

"Here we go, this is what we predicted all along, the same kind of modus operandi that these strip club operators use around the United States," Brian Stephens, with the Cordova Leadership Council said. "They try to open as one thing, then drift into a strip club."

Providence Rose who lives in a nearby neighborhood is outraged at the thought of strip club in town.

"Our value of our homes are going to just plummet," Providence Rose said. "And this is our biggest investment."

Cooper, who also owns the Gold Club and Christie's Cabaret, said the renovations include putting in restrooms upstairs, cutting a bar in half to improve the view of the dance floor, and adding three acres of parking.

Stephens doesn't buy it.

"He designed a building that is a five star restaurant, to be located in an industrial section of Cordova, Tennessee, that's not a place any smart restaurant owner would try to operate. Instead it's a great place for a strip club operator to try to slink a strip club in."

Stephens is still at work to get the land zoned from industrial to commercial to prevent any chance of the lounge becoming a strip club. But he says it is a race against time.

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