by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Triangle Business Journal reports that The Mint – a heavily subsidized and seldom patronized restaurant in downtown Raleigh – will close. The white tablecloth establishment opened in January 2008.
Mayor Charles Meeker and his allies in Raleigh city government gave The Mint every possible advantage – from a $1 million subsidy to reductions in rent. They did everything short of paying people to eat lunch and dinner there.
One critic wrote that the food was “hit and miss” but was impressed by the “strings of faceted crystals, suggestive of diamond necklaces, suspended from the dining room’s soaring two-story ceiling; yards of polished stone and custom fabrics, including the sumptuous silken upholstery of deep banquettes; dramatic modern sculptures backlit in the copper and green of money.”
Apparently, the restaurant did not see the green of actual money very often.