Cincinnati Council's Budget and Finance committee is likely to discuss the now closed Mahogany's Restaurant during its meeting Monday.
A Council majority has signed a motion asking city administrators to meet with owner Liz Rogers and her attorney to see if there's a way to protect the city's financing that went into the project.
Four people addressed the issue Wednesday during Council's regular weekly meeting. Resident Iris Roley directed a portion of her comments to Mayor John Cranley.
“I’m asking for your leadership today,” Roley said. “I’m asking you Mr. Mayor instead of dealing with Mahogany’s owners through the media that you sit down and you have a rationale, deliberate, conscience conversation. We’re talking about human beings Mr. Mayor. We’re talking about 50 plus employees who are now unemployed.”
Rogers closed earlier this month after her landlord found her in default on her lease for not paying rent and remaining open during the lease term. Mahogany's was closed for a few days last month after the Ohio Department of Taxation shut it down for failing to pay state sales taxes.
Rogers has said she wants to meet with city officials about finding another location in the city.
City Manager Harry Black has declined such a meeting so far.
Charlie Winburn signed the motion supporting the city meeting with Rogers.
“Ms. Liz Rogers is a partner with us,” Winburn said. “Until that partnership is resolved she deserves to have civility, humanity, kindness, diplomacy and politeness, courtesy and dialogue.”
The city gave Rogers a $600,000 grant and a $300,000 loan to open Mahogany's at The Banks in 2012.