It was obvious that Liz Rogers was going to fail at Mahogany’s on the Banks when she gave the interview on the radio shown below. She stated that she was guided by faith, not sight and that she was destined to bring an African-American owned restaurant to the plush riverside development in Cincinnati. The city to encourage the endeavor threw a lot of money at her—which was unprecedented, because they wanted the politics of the deal. They wanted the feel good stories, progressive political support, and a success for minority owned businesses. Liz had a nice place in downtown Hamilton that was working, so developers wanted her to expand to a second location. But there was baggage with her from the start, which everyone ignored and the Mahogany’s deal turned out to be a disgrace. In the end the restaurant failed and Liz asked people not to judge her based on what she owed monetarily—but on her love for food. What?????????????????????
Liz Rogers lives in my community and I think is a nice lady. I think her intentions were good. But her business approach belongs in the Twilight Zone, expecting judgment based on her personal desires to cook food, and that she approaches the business with feelings—not thought. In other words her approach to the Banks deal was similar to saying standing before a tall wall, metaphorically, “I have faith that I will be lifted above and beyond that wall.” But the lift never comes leaving her standing in the same spot stuck with ineptitude. The proper approach would be to say, “I will construct a rope and climb over that wall.” That is a plan that can lead to a profitable enterprise. Having faith doesn’t do it. Faith can help you get up in the morning, but it won’t deliver tasks completed.
Now Liz is out of the Banks location and she is looking to make a deal with the city—which should have never been involved in the Rogers endeavor from the start. She is threatening to sue Cincinnati for her failure on the grounds that the types of development city government promised her would take place—which never quite manifested the way they proposed. What is unfathomably naive about her threat is that she actually believes that the fault of her business is the city’s problem. Her location was right next to The Holy Grail and was plugged numerous times on 700 WLW—most of the time in a favorable way regarding her food. She failed to retain the curiosity customers by making them into repeats. Good or bad press she has had loads and loads of free advertising—the name of Mahogany’s has been on every television station, radio station and received plenty of news print. She has had her chances to take a freak show and turn it into a legitimate business opportunity—which is much more opportunity than any other business have had in Cincinnati in years. Just getting the name out for a new enterprise is difficult at best. If anything, the city gave her a golden opportunity to become gloriously rich—and she failed epically. The city responded to her threat with the following article:
The city of Cincinnati won’t take up Mahogany’s owner Liz Rogers‘ offer not to sue it in exchange for forgiving the balance of a $300,000 loan the city made for her to open the restaurant at the Banks.
“In a letter last week, the city expressed its position on this matter,” said Rocky Merz, a spokesman for City Manager Harry Black. “Due to the potential for litigation, we have nothing further to add. We wish Ms. Rogers all the best in her future endeavors.”
Rogers wrote a letter to the city offering not to sue it over promises she says were broken when she agreed to open a restaurant at the riverfront development, including that there would be a hotel and office workers there. She also proposed that for $12,000 the city would sell her the furniture and restaurant equipment the city’s $300,000 bought. Rogers, who said she would open another restaurant in Cincinnati, gave the city until Thursday to take the deal.
Mahogany’s closed last week after it was evicted by its landlord, NIC Riverbanks One. Rogers has denied allegations made in the eviction letter sent by the landlord.
It is obvious that Liz Rogers is a believer in socialism as she does not attribute her actions to success or failure of her business, but in the promises of government to provide or not provide. She brought with her business venture an obvious lack of embrace in capitalism which scared away her potential customers. She failed because of her philosophic position. She was the one given a gift, nearly a million dollars in opportunity—loads of free advertising and a site across from the Great American Ballpark and one of the hottest developments with residential living right over her head—nearly guaranteed customers if she produced a decent product. But, there was a lot of competition, and she couldn’t hack it—and due to her failure, she sought socialism and racism as the excuse. That is absolutely pathetic.