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Weddings imperiled by Bayville hall's landlord dispute

The WaterView Club in Bayville recently sent a

The WaterView Club in Bayville recently sent a vague email to would-be brides and grooms stating the venue is to be closed after a landlord dispute. (April 18, 2013). Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Several would-be brides and grooms with hopes of hosting a waterfront wedding in Bayville say they have been left at the altar by their catering company amid a landlord-tenant dispute.

WaterView Club, renowned for beach nuptials on Long Island Sound, shuttered its doors this week despite having about 25 events scheduled in coming months.

Tammy Pagnillo and Eddie Navarrete's June 22 wedding is among them.

Pagnillo, 28, of Bellmore, has everything in order: the cake, the flowers and the dress.

What she doesn't have is assurance that the caterer and venue she reserved for $13,500 are a go. "What am I going to do?" asked Pagnillo, who wants a refund.

Several couples this week received an email from WaterView's attorney indicating the company was working to resolve an unexpected problem. Others said they learned of problems from their baker.

WaterView's owner, Paul Burnup, Thursday referenced a dispute with the American Legion, landlord of the building that he has rented for six years, but would not discuss details.

He has arranged for another catering company to assume responsibility for reservations, but would not disclose its name. All that remains now, he said, was for the Legion to present the lease to the new company. The Legion could not be reached for comment.

"My priority is to take care of these people, these brides," Burnup said. "Everything else is tenuous at this point."

Joseph O'Keefe, 34, and Gayle Leitman, 27, both of Brooklyn, were to celebrate their wedding May 26. They expect more than 200 guests and her family has paid about $20,000 for the beach wedding she always wanted.

News of a new caterer did little to comfort O'Keefe. "Until it's final, we're in a holding pattern," he said. "I don't have a whole lot of trust in anyone."

Burnup said there would not be a need for refunds or rescheduling with the new caterer on deck, but some families are still feeling a loss.

Barbara Lewis, 60, of Hicksville, said her daughter Theresa, 25, of River Vale, N.J., is devastated about the uncertainty surrounding her Aug. 3 wedding to Tom Simpson, 27, also of River Vale.

"All we were waiting for was to walk down that aisle," said Lewis, who has $19,000 invested, "that aisle on the beach."

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