MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A fence still surrounds Club Crave since it was labeled a public nuisance, but a year and a half later, this nuisance will soon have a new name.
Club Crave will soon be The Palace. Developer Steve Adelman is signing a lease to open a new dance hall, special event center, and upscale cocktail lounge here.
“He is convinced that this is something that is gonna bring very positive attention to Memphis and to downtown and provide a venue to something we don’t have right now in Memphis,” said Paul Morris, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission, which is operating Beale Street for the city.
Club Crave doesn’t sit on city property and is privately owned, but the city can and did shut it down because of crime.
Morris says the city has a vested interest.
“It’s really a positive for Beale Street to have not an empty building surrounded by a chain link fence,” Morris said.
It seems just about every club that tried to open at the Fourth and Beale spot eventually closed because of crime.
“The operators who were running that place before operated it in a manner that was attracting criminal activity. They just were. This guy has a reputation of running venues that don’t have that,” Morris said.
Other business owners on Beale Street hope the tide is turning.
Dorothy’s Mae’s Restaurant just opened inside the Ernest Withers Photography Museum across the street and is closely watching what replaces Club Crave.
“If, as I heard, it’s going to be something new, innovative, fresh, totally different from what it was, then I am all for it, ” Fran Mosley, CEO of Dorothy’s Mae’s, said.
The plan is to have The Palace opened by the end of the year.
The Downtown Commission says Steve Adelman has a history of opening successful clubs in Los Angeles and Boston.
The city will be watching and if crime does become a problem, it will move in to shut things down again.