|Mahogany's Gets City Incentive Package|
|$300,000 City Loan|
|$684,000 City Grant|
City documents say the incentive package should encourage other businesses to come to The Banks. The documents describe the City Council action as an emergency measure: "The reason for the emergency is the immediate need for the City enter into the Grant Agreement so the (restaurant owners) can commence designing and constructing leasehold improvements for the restaurant in order to keep construction and the opening of the restaurant on schedule . . ." Mahogany's is supposed to occupy a 3,250-foot site on the north side of Freedom Way.
When it was announced last month that Mahogany's was coming to Cincinnati, Mayor Mark Mallory said that he was a fan: 'It's going to be great to finally have a really god soul food restaurant in Downtown Cincinnati. It will add to the variety and flavor that make Downtown special. I'm also pleased to see our first African American-owned business opening at The Banks." At the time, nobody seemed to notice that the restaurant had been wooed with financial aid. Meanwhile, the city is making sure it gets credit for putting up the money. The documents require:
Recognition of City Funding. Throughout construction of the restaurant, Borrower shall
ensure that the financial support of the City is recognized in any and all printed materials such as informational releases, pamphlets and brochures, project and exhibition signage, construction signs, and any publicity such as that appearing on the Internet, television, cable television, radio, or in the press or any other printed media. In identifying the City as a funder, Borrower shall use either the phrase “Funded by the City of Cincinnati” or a City of Cincinnati logotype or other form of acknowledgement that has been approved in advance in writing.
So how good is Mahogany's? The national restaurant review website Urban Spoon says 83% of those who have visited Mahogany's and written about their experiences have filed positive reviews. Here's one from Feb. 19 that is mixed, which is to say it points out some service flaws but raves about the food.
Wonderful food but I went on a night they were under staffed. I walked in on a Saturday night with no reservations the manager informed me of an hour wait for a table but was able to seat us in about 15 mins. The place is small with a high demand. While waiting for I food I watched two servers greet customers, answer phones, bus tables, take orders and run food all with smiles on their faces and making time to insure guest food was great. I was told they usually have a bigger staff by a "regular" but had some call offs that night. I had shrimp and grits which was hot, huge and the best I've ever had! My date had chicken and waffles and it had to be the most different and tastest combination ever created. We will return. Hats off to you ladies for your professional demeanor and thank you Dave for the best Patron Margarita to date! If you want real food, a great atmosphere and friendly staff try Mahoganys if you want freaky fast food try Jimmy Johns!
The hometown newspaper, the Journal-News in Hamilton, says the portions are huge and come with flavor and soul. It checked on the restaurant about three months after the August 2010 opening. Said writer Teri Horsley:
The menu is filled with soul food delicacies with Paw-Pa Jim’s Shrimp & Grits being this writer’s favorite. The huge portion of grits was drenched in butter and special secret sauces, then sauteed in smoked bacon, scallions, portabella mushrooms mixed with fresh shrimp. My decision to mix in hot sauce gave the traditional favorite a kick that was to die for. Other menu faves include Johnnie-Mae’s Catfish and grits, so named after Roger’s mother-in-law, with the fish being an Asian variety that has no bones and a lighter texture. The dessert and baked goods menu changes daily, but the Slap Your Mama Banana Puddin,’ and Sweet Potato Muffins are the most popular choices for carry out.