Rodney Shumpert has applied for a license to open Chocolate City Bar amp& Grill and said Thursday his plans are to offer topless dancing, food and alcohol.
"I am looking to do $250,000 in renovations and I'm looking to bring jobs and dollars to Okolona," Shumpert said. "We are going to do this nice and it will be upscale."
Okolona Mayor Louise Floyd Coleman said the city voted on its moratorium in a special-called meeting Friday and wants time to look at its ordinances and determine what its options are.
Coleman said she was not aware the business would be adult-oriented.
"It is not our place to say what people or businesses can or can't do," Coleman said. "There have been issues with other nightclubs in our town.
"We want to look at what other towns and cities have as far as ordinances. We are going to do our research first and see how others regulate those type of businesses."
Okolona City Attorney Gene Barton said cities traditionally regulate bars, nightclubs and adult entertainment-oriented businesses with zoning ordinances that say where these businesses can operate.
"Okolona has an ordinance that says any nightclub must earn at least 50 percent of its revenue from selling food and no more than 50 percent selling alcohol," Barton said. "We have had a problem in the past with people just selling beer and not keeping up with their food revenue."
Barton said the city also can regulate the hours nightclubs operate. He added businesses that fail to follow city ordinances can have their privilege license revoked.
"The city board is charged with looking at what is best for the city overall," Barton said. "We are beginning to see some success in Okolona with the opening of a few new businesses and improvements in our schools. The board wants to see the city and the community continue moving in that direction."
Chocolate City would be located at the site of the old Dub's Sports Bar amp& Restaurant at 423 Monroe St. The bar would be right across the street from a new hardware store seeking to open in Okolona.
Shumpert said Chocolate City would employ at least 12 people.
"This will have a major economic impact on Okolona," Shumpert said. "I've also told people I am willing to give 5 percent of my revenue to the school district."
Shumpert said he chose Okolona because of the success of The Pony, another topless club on Highway 45 in Lowndes County, and because Tupelo does not allow alcohol to be served at topless bars. He said he plans to have 10 plasma TVs and a full kitchen.
"I used to own a bar called Chocolate City in Okolona and we did well," Shumpert said. "I also own three bars and restaurants in Tupelo - Level 3, Plush Club and Club Icon - and I keep them nice."
Shumpert said he plans to start work on the building in February or as soon as the moratorium is lifted.