Judge says Senses can reopen under specific stipulations

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After much back and forth, a judge says an East Memphis nightclub can reopen.

Senses Nightclub off Poplar Avenue closed several years ago.

A new owner purchased it in 2015 and has been trying to reopen it. However, they were told they didn’t have the proper permits to be a nightclub.

The club could reopen as soon as this weekend.

There were handshakes and hugs in environmental court Wednesday afternoon after Judge Larry Potter made his ruling.

"I hope honestly this works out so you will have a flourishing business there," Judge Potter said to owner Francisco DaSilva.

After listening to testimony earlier this week Judge Potter decided Senses nightclub could reopen before a later trial under several stipulations.

Judge Potter said the club must have 15 security guards throughout the property. There can’t be any walk-up patrons, to cut down on complaints of parking, partying and destructive behavior in nearby neighborhoods. Occupancy can never be exceeded.

The business must also apply for a special use permit. It has 60 to 90 days to apply.

"Well I thought the court's ruling was fair considering the unique aspects of this case," said DaSilva's attorney Lanier Fogg.

"What it will do, it will give everyone a window to see how the business is operated," he continued.

However, this isn’t a complete win. There is still the issue of that special use permit the county must grant the club. The permit would allow the club to operate in an area not zoned for clubs.

WREG asked Fogg if he is confident the county will grant that.

"Absolutely not. You I think there has been a lot of hue and cry from the neighborhood and unfortunately a lot of political influence," explained Fogg.

Senses is expected to appear back in environmental court in a few months.

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