Better Call Behnken: Popular Ybor City wedding venue abruptly shuts doors, other venues reaching out to brides

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A popular Ybor City wedding venue, 1930 Grande Room, appears to have abruptly shut its doors, leaving couples in a panic. 

Some have paid as much as $8,000 and now have upcoming wedding dates and no venue. The voicemail box at 1930 Grande Room is full, and brides say emails and texts to the owners are not returned.

Calls from 8 On Your Side have also not been returned.

That leaves brides-to-be, like Aimee Dufresne, devastated.

Her wedding is set for Dec. 9, and was supposed to happen at the Grande.

She says communication with the owners was cut off in April, just after her mother made a second payment, for a total of more than $8,000.

“I’m that girl who has dreamt about the wedding, the fairy tale wedding her entire life,” Dufresne said.

The popular wedding venue abruptly closed its doors, leaving behind a pile of mail. Two other couples who paid for their wedding also contacted 8 On Your Side for help.

“They were great up until four months ago, when I can’t get a response from anybody,” Dufresne said. “It’s unfortunate that they can sleep at night, knowing that brides are out money. People aren’t made of money. People save a long time for this.”

Orlando Echevarria said he and his fiancé paid more than $5,000 and now can’t get in touch with anyone with the business

“My fiancé is in tears now,” he said.

8 On Your Side found the owners, Jennifer and Anthony Sanschagrin, have several business affiliations, and one of those filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy nearly a year ago. That gives Dufresne little hope she’ll get her money back.

Here’s here message for the company that left her in a lurch:

“When somebody asks you what your best day of your life was, I bet you say it was your wedding day, and you are ruining what was supposed to be everybody’s best day of their lives.”

The following venues have reached out to 8 On Your Side to reach out to brides, some offering discounts.

Carollwood Country Club
Contact: Cassie Thomas, Catering Sales Director
813-961-1381, ext. 144

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Contact: Sara Meadows
813-673-3081

Saltblock Hospitality
Contact: Chelsea Hunter
877-793-7526
saltblockhospitality.com

Columbia Restaurant
813-248-4961

Bakers Ranch
Contact: Tiffany Patrick
941-776-1460
http://www.bakersranch.com

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Contact: Andrea Alava
813-935-8552 ext. 212
andrea.alava@lowryparkzoo.org

Chester H. Ferguson Law Center
813-221-7777, ask for Terri or Laurie
terri@hillsbar.com

Follow Shannon Behnken on Facebook

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