Couples left in limbo by the disappearance of the official Prospect Park Boathouse wedding caterer last week won’t have to worry about thousands of dollars in fees and the commission at the venue, the Prospect Park Alliance said Thursday.
The park group is prepared to absorb some of the costs of the fiasco that has left many about-to-wed Brooklynites in a lurch following the sudden shuttering of Movable Feast catering and its owner, Jackson Berson, who has vanished.
In a letter sent Thursday afternoon to clients with upcoming weddings at the Boathouse, Alliance president Sue Donoghue said the group — which is itself owed thousands by Berson — will waive its typical catering commission and a venue fee, which together could add up to as much as $6,000, for all couples with weddings scheduled in 2017.
“Like you, we at the Alliance were shocked and dismayed about Movable Feast’s sudden closure and Mr. Berson’s disappearance,” Donoghue wrote. “The events of last week are unacceptable and they fly in the face of our values.”
In addition, the Alliance is connecting couples with another of the park’s caterers, Bon Soir, which will handle upcoming weddings at prices 20 percent lower than Movable Feast’s.
But even with the lowered catering prices and waived fees, many couples will be out thousands of dollars. At least six couples who contacted Gothamist and DNAinfo New York said they have paid between $8,000 and $13,000 in deposits to book the Boathouse.
Donoghue encouraged couples to dispute payments made to Movable Feast with their respective credit card companies and to make a report to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office at (718) 250-2340.
The parks group has also met with the NYPD about the Movable Feast disappearance, but said because the issue is a civil matter, the DA would handle the case, not the police department.
DA spokesman Oren Yaniv said the office is "not at liberty to discuss any individual investigation" but added that “we take all allegations of larceny and fraud very seriously" and "any complaint filed with our office will be thoroughly reviewed.”
As those affected by the caterer’s disappearance pick up the pieces of their wedding plans, the company’s owner has yet to surface. The longtime caterer is going through a divorce from his wife, Nancy, and failed to show up to a court hearing last week, at which her attorney speculated he may be “gambling now” in Atlantic City.
Nancy’s sister told DNAinfo on Wednesday he has not made contact with the family at any point since he disappeared earlier this month. As of Thursday, the police department had no record of a missing person report for Berson.