Wedding venue abruptly closes

News 6 investigated prior complaints against wedding planner

OCALA, Fla. – A ballroom and banquet facility operated by a wedding planner with prior complaints about her business has abruptly closed, leaving at least one bride-to-be without a venue for her upcoming wedding, News 6 has learned.

Savannah’s Grand Ballroom and Dining, which had been leasing space inside the Ocala National Golf Club since November, shut down last week, according to a sign posted outside the antebellum-style mansion.

The wedding and catering business is owned by Angela and Bruce Cordrey, the proprietors of several defunct companies, records show.

Last year, bride-to-be Amber Maxwell contacted News 6 claiming Angela Cordrey improperly kept more than $1,000 in deposits intended to be used for reserving a ballroom, wedding cake and a DJ.

Cordrey did not respond to multiple email and voicemail messages by News 6 about Maxwell’s allegations.  When a News 6 reporter stopped by Cordrey’s former business, Savannah’s Catering, the wedding planner refused to answer questions and ordered the reporter to leave.

On July 8, the owner of the Ocala National Golf Club filed papers in Marion County Circuit Court seeking to evict Cordrey from their property.

Cordrey’s business owes more than $13,000 in unpaid rent since February, according to the eviction complaint.

Less than two weeks later, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation temporarily closed Savannah’s Grand Ballroom after the restaurant failed a routine health inspection.

About a dozen live roaches were found inside an unused cooler in the kitchen, a wild frog was removed from behind a cooler, and trash was piled up around the restaurant’s dumpster, according to a report.

The restaurant would be allowed to reopen after correcting the violations, state records show.

On the day the state shut down the restaurant, employees of Savannah’s Ballroom told News 6 the restaurant had simply been closed early for routine cleaning and would reopen the following day.

An unidentified employee denied that the state had ordered the restaurant to be closed for health violations.

Two days after state inspectors placed large orange signs outside the restaurant indicating it was temporarily closed, Cordrey vacated the leased banquet facility, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

The Facebook page for Savannah’s Grand Ballroom, which indicated upcoming weddings had been booked at the venue, has since been deactivated.

Cordrey did not immediately respond to a voicemail and emails left by News 6 inquiring about her company’s abrupt closure and the fate of customers who may have weddings and other future events scheduled at the venue.

News 6 will continue to follow this developing story.

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