Couple wants refund after wedding reception venue shut down

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Cordova couple was met with a shock when they discovered their planned venue for their wedding reception closed down just days before their big day.

They're demanding a refund, but the business owner says he doesn't owe them a dime.

"This is our wedding day, this is my wife's special day, and I wanted her to be happy," Adrian Hopkins said.

He and his wife Angela Hopkins say they got a whole lot more of a headache than they bargained for when they set their reception at the Risque Grill in Fox Meadows.

Adrian and Angela Hopkins were set to be married at Risque Grill.

The wedding was March 23, and the big day still went off, but there were tears before the smiles.

The couple initially settled on Risque Grill because they knew people that had worked with the restaurant before.

"He offered us the world, you're gonna have champagne on every table," Adrian said someone at the restaurant told him.

The Hopkins and managers worked out a deal, paying $1,900 for the venue, food and drinks. The deal was half the money up front, the other half the day before.
Managers let the couple make payments.

"I would take him $300, 400, 500," he said. Hopkins was given receipts but says he never signed a contract.

But about a week before the big day, Hopkins says he got a call from the staff.

"He said, 'Look man, the health department has closed us down.' I said wow, are you serious? He said, 'Yes, it's plumbing issues, it's plumbing issues.'"

The couple became desperate. They went back and forth but Hopkins says he wanted he told owners he wanted his money back.

That's when he says they stopped talking.

"We thought that he was going to really do what he said he was going to do," Hopkins said. "We took him for his word."

He says the owner, Kenneth Pollard owes him $1,000.

We reached Pollard on the phone and he denied that claim.

Pollard acknowledged Hopkins came to him about a week before the wedding and he told him they could be closed due to plumbing issues.

He says Hopkins asked for $500 to get another venue. Pollard claims he gave him $500 cash, leaving a balance of $800 he had paid. That money was supposed to be for food.

He says the plan was still to cater the wedding, just at a different venue, but Friday, the day before the scheduled wedding and reception, he says Hopkins called saying the reception was cancelled.

Pollard said the food had already been purchased.

"And I told him, 'Man I hate to hear that but I already purchased the food and having it prepared,' so at this point there is nothing I can do as far as a refund."

He offered to deliver the food to another location at a later date if he found a venue, and says that was the end of things.

Hopkins says he never received $500. He warns other couple to always have a contract.

As far as his marriage, it might've started off rocky but now, "As long as we have each other we good. Ya, that's what matters."

We checked with the Shelby County Health Department, they said they have not had any dealings with Risque Grill since November 2018.

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