Mahogany's owner, attorney submit proposal to city of Cincinnati - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Mahogany's owner, attorney submit proposal to city of Cincinnati

An attorney for Liz Rogers, owner of the troubled Mahogany's, presented the city a four-page proposal Sunday (FOX19 File Photo) An attorney for Liz Rogers, owner of the troubled Mahogany's, presented the city a four-page proposal Sunday (FOX19 File Photo)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

An attorney for Liz Rogers, owner of the troubled Mahogany's, presented the city a four-page proposal Sunday for leaving its current location and resolving a $1 million commitment by the city to get the restaurant to move there in 2012.

The letter was addressed to City Manager Harry Black and the Cincinnati Economic Development Division's Jeff McElravy.

Citing what he describes as a false pretense, Robert F. Croskery outlines fault with The Banks development and city and offered a seven-point alternative, including paying the city $12,000 "to pay the salvage value of the furniture and equipment."

[Related: FOX19 Investigates: Cincinnati city leaders lose $13.5M in loan programs]

"In hindsight, it is easy to see that Liz Rogers was brought into a very bad deal, albeit perhaps with the best of intentions of certain parties representing the City," Croskery writes. "Contrary to what she was promised, there is no theater on The Banks. Contrary to what she was promised, there is no hotel there. Contrary to what she was promised, there is no office building, and no foot traffic (apart from game days); in other words, the location lacks fundamentals need for success."

Rogers' attorney, Robert Croskery, wrote the media's reporting that Mahogany's at the Banks "had been closed by the Landlord" became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The letter says employees quit and customers, believing the restaurant was closed, stopped coming.

Croskery says Rogers has several options.  She could:

  • Fight he city and the landlord in court and claim fraud, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and discrimination claims.
  • File for bankruptcy, which would allow her to walk away from the city loan. 
"However, Liz Rogers loves this city and this region and would like to come to an agreement that would benefit the region and help bring it forward," Croskery wrote.

Croskery says they have negotiated with the landlord and have reached a proposal for the city.

Croskery's letter stated that more than $600,000 in government money was used to build out the space that Mahogany's moved into and $300,000 was spent on equipment. Croskery valued that equipment at the $12,000 amount and said if the city accepted his proposal, Rogers promised to pay for the equipment in one lump sum within 36 months of Mahogany's closing on Oct. 15.

The conditions to the proposal are as follows:

  1. The parties waive all liability between them to date
  2. Liz Rogers and Mahogany's will vacate the premises on or before midnight, October 14, 2014, using it, in the interim, only for storage until she can move out equipment.
  3. Liz Rogers agrees to remove the furnishings and equipment at Mahogany's, and use it to open a new restaurant, under another entity and name, within the City of Cincinnati city limits, within 120 days of October 15, 2014.
  4. Liz Rogers agrees to pay the salvage value of the furniture and equipment (for purposes of this proposal, valued at $12,000) within 36 months of the new restaurant opening, plus legal interest, in a single payment at the end of term. If the payment is not made, the City shall be entitled to retrieve the furniture and equipment at its costs.
  5. The City agrees to forgive any and all current debt from Mahogany's and Liz Rogers and her husband, including any claim on the furniture and equipment except as noted.
  6. During the storage of the equipment at Mahogany's current location, Liz Rogers and Mahogany's consent to removal of signage, attractive covering of the exterior as the Landlord chooses, the turning off the gas by a qualified contractor (immediately, for safety reasons.)  The premises will be turned over without damage other than the incidental to normal wear and tear and equipment//furniture removal.
  7. Liz Rogers and her agents will not participate in any public protests over the relocation, and, in fact, publicly discourage any such protests.
Croskery's letter also states the best option for the city is to accept the deal and avoid litigation in civil court.

The letter says that the city has until Thursday to accept this deal.


On Tuesday, Rogers said the restaurant was not a good fit for The Banks, and is looking to relocate.

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