Looks like the City of Knoxville is going to subsidize those $50 Ruth's Chris steaks.
Remarks in the article about Riverside not being "viable" are puzzling. It was one of the better restaurants in town when it opened, and always seemed to be doing pretty good business whenever we were there. There's also a dispute about parking. We've never had a problem parking there.
The article has some confusing and conflicting statements:
"The city doesn't get any revenues from 1 percent of zero gross receipts, nor does it benefit from having an empty restaurant should it close. With Ruth's Chris, based on their national averages, we think it will be a good relationship," [city spokesperson Randy] Kenner said.
But the article says Riverside owes the city $86,000. So it doesn't sound like they were getting 1% of nothing. $86,000 is 1% of $8.6 million.
With the new deal, the city would let them off the hook for the $86,000 and not charge Ruth's Chris any rent going forward. So will the city still pay the lease to the U.S. government? Wonder how much that is?
Sounds like there's more to this deal than meets they eye. We wonder if the $86,000 is what was holding up the deal, and the City is caving in to make it happen and trying to put a positive spin on it. At any rate, it seems like nobody wants to do business downtown unless they get something from the taxpayers for their troubles.
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