RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Facebook page for The Garden On Millbrook shows a lovely venue and for Joyce Collins and Anthony Coleman it was the perfect place.
“We were going to get married there so why not hold our reception there?” said Joyce Collins.
Collins sent CBS 17 a bank record showing on July 22, 2020, the venue was paid a $2,000 deposit by debit card.
Collins also provided CBS 17 with a signed booking agreement for a wedding date of May 30, 2021. It never happened because the pandemic got in the way.
“My dad got sick, and he eventually passed away that year as well and we wanted to change the date of the wedding,” said Collins.
That’s when the problems with the venue began.
Collins and Coleman began having trouble contacting the facility.
She provided us with copies of emails that bounced back as “undeliverable.”
The venue’s website wasn’t there anymore.
When you click the link, you find it had been taken down, replaced with a generic WordPress page.
“We went through the necessary steps to contact these people, to call them, even email them and we couldn’t get a response back from anybody,” said fiancé Anthony Coleman.
When the couple complained to the BBB, it found that agency couldn’t help either because it was getting no response from the venue.
The BBB sent Collins an email, which she provided to CBS 17, saying it had to close the case.
Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia went to the Garden on Millbrook and found the parking lot secured with a chain and padlock.
Snow that had fallen last Friday on the front steps to the venue showed no signs of anyone going or coming.
The front door was locked, and no one answered the intercom at the front or responded to the doorbell.
The Secretary of State’s Office corporate filings page says the Garden on Millbrook is now known as Millbrook Catering.
Records list Arlee Griffin as the president.
Sbraccia was able to track down a number for Griffin and reached him by phone.
He said the venue “was not taking bookings right now because of COVID.” He declined to elaborate further on the venue’s status.
He told Sbraccia over the phone he would deal with the couple’s problem if they contacted him.
Sbraccia passed his number on to Collins.
After speaking with him by phone, Collins later told Sbraccia the venue asked her for proof of her contract and proof of payment which she emailed to them. She was told the venue will refund the $2.000 within two weeks.
CBS 17 will continue to follow this story let you know how this turns out.