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DUMBO Wedding Venue Suddenly Closes; Couples Out Thousands Of Dollars

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some couples were supposed to be celebrating the happiest time of their lives in tying the knot, but they were instead left feeling blue after a popular party and wedding venue in DUMBO, Brooklyn suddenly closed – costing them tens of thousands of dollars.

As CBS 2's Tracee Carrasco reported, the couples were supposed to get married at reBar, at 147 Front St. in Brooklyn. But now, reBar is no more.

"We like, wandered around like, half an hour, like, brainstorming," said Aisling Jumper.

Jumper and her fiancé, Scott Mathew-Novelli, were to be married at the restaurant and event space on Friday, having scheduled the ceremony three months earlier. But when they arrived on Friday, they found a sign printed on typing paper posted in the window, reading, "reBar is closed and bankrupt – do not enter."

The doors were chained shut, and unhappy employees were taking all the bottles down from the bar.

"We have to find somewhere to get married, and how are we going to pay for it," Jumper said.

On Friday night, the couple was out $14,000 – and they are not alone. Christian Pascarella and his fiancée are out $17,000.

"You don't take somebody's money with a promise and a contract and a guarantee that you're going to provide services to do something, and get up and run away like a coward," Pascarella said.

reBar had 200 weddings and events booked through 2016. Despite the customers having contracts, thousands of dollars in deposits are now gone.

"We do not know why (the owner) did what he did," said reBar employee Dina Thaverne. "No warning, no signals, signs, no anything."

The 37 employees of reBar are now out of a job. They said they received only a short e-mail from owner Jason Stevens Friday morning, with the subject line, "Rebar is bankrupt and closed."

"Please dispose of your keys and do not enter the premises," Stevens told employees in the e-mail.
Despite the shock, the employees want to do the right thing -- scrambling to find donations and venues for the two weddings scheduled this weekend.

"Our employees are going to work for free and let them have their day, because they deserve that much," Thaverne said.

CBS 2's phone calls to owner Jason Stevens were not returned.

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