Stella Marris reopens for New Year's Eve - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stella Marris reopens for New Year's Eve

(WMC-TV) - A controversial Cordova nightclub will host a New Year's Eve bash.

Stella Marris Cuisine and Lounge reopened Saturday after obtaining a dance permit earlier this month.  General manager Ernest Jay said they have a perfect combination for a grand reopening on New Year's Eve.

"We're so excited about this," said Jay.  "it's been a long time waiting."

The Cordova establishment has been closed for nearly a year for renovations.  During that time, club owner Steve Cooper applied and was granted a dance permit.

"Everybody is coming in, checking it out," said Jay.  "They're excited for us."

Not everyone is excited.  Cooper owns several strip clubs in Memphis.  For that reason, Cordova Leadership Council member Brian Stevens feels the restaurant is a cover up.

"I know what he's up to," said Stevens.  "The man runs strip joints, he makes his money in strip joints.  He makes his money in adult-oriented businesses and I'm absolutely sure that's what he wants over there at that location at some point."

Stevens said the Cordova Leadership Council, as well as the city council, have been working on a new law that goes into effect on New Year's Day that will put tighter control on adult-oriented businesses.

"It basically made them a little bit more neighborhood friendly," he said.  "It protected the citizens from the negative effects of these clubs by doing things like saying, well, you can't take guys into the back room."

Jay said the restaurant has no intentions of being anything more than a lounge.

"Tonight, we're having fun," said Jay.  "We're going to play music, bring in the new year, and a lot of people you know having fun."

Stevens said Cordova residents will be keeping a close eye on the business practices at Stella Marris.

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