Racy ad stirs controversy around Stella Marris - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Racy ad stirs controversy around Stella Marris

(WMC-TV) - A racy flyer distributed by Cordova club Stella Marris has some neighbors worried.

"I heard it was a strip club," said Cordova resident Davinci Newsom.  "I don't even know if it's true or not."

The advertisement, which says "The Party Starts at Stella" and shows a woman with her legs in the air and her hands on DJ equipment, is sparking controversy among some Cordova residents.

Some people on Facebook believe the advertisement proves that Stella Marris is a strip club.

Many Action News 5 spoke to had never been to Stella Marris, which has an upscale restaurant run by longtime Memphis restaurant owner Ronnie Grisanti, as well as a club for dancing.

"I guess just the first visit you could tell if it's for you or not," said Cordova resident Mike Logan, who also admitted he had never been to the nightclub.

Stella Marris owner Steve Cooper said he is tired of hearing his establishment is a strip club.  He said it is a restaurant and dance club and he has no plans to turn it into a strip club.

Wednesday night, nine Shelby County Sheriff's deputies visited Stella Marris.  Cooper said they were inside for 55 minutes.

A spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said the deputies went to Stella Marris to see if it is in compliance.  The club reportedly passed the inspection.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office did not say what deputies were checking for at Stella Marris.  Cooper said the officers told him the restaurant was the nicest they had ever seen.

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