Exclusive: The inside of a controversial Cordova restaurant - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Exclusive: The inside of a controversial Cordova restaurant

Topless nightclub owner Steve Cooper has repeatedly denied he is putting a topless club on his property in Cordova, saying instead that he is building a restaurant.

Action News 5 got an exclusive tour inside.

It's to be called "La Italiano" and it's owned by topless nightclub owner, Steve Cooper.

Cooper insists it will be an upscale Italian Restaurant and dance club like Barcelona in Scottsdale, Arizona, not a strip bar.

"A lot of money was spent designing this place to get this place right. If it was an adult club just throw some mirrors on the wall and paint and be done with it," said project manager Dave Rogers.

Cordova residents say they peaked inside and saw a round object that looks to them like a stripper stage.

"It's decorative soffits. They are wrapped in plastic to keep them from getting damaged. I know a lot of attention has been focused on those, but that's what it is," said Rogers.

He took the plastic off and showed us. They will hang from the ceiling.

The main floor is a dining area but it will be cleared away for a dance floor.

Dave Rogers says there will be a sports bar in one section and a kitchen on the side.

Steve Cooper also plans to build a dance club for young people at the front of his 8-acre property. It will be patterned after another Scottsdale Club called Axis Radius.

Folks who go to the eight diamond ball park across the street don't like the idea of dance clubs nearby.

"If its just a restaurant and its fine but if its otherwise it doesn't need to be around here. No dance club? No," said neighbor Chris Clark.

La Italiano is scheduled to open in three to four months.

There has been a lot of talk about the fact that the building has no windows. Steve Cooper told us there is nothing around the building anyone would want to look at. That's why there are no windows.

There's a meeting Thursday night where Cordova residents can voice their concerns about the building.


Click here to send Janice Broach an email.

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