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Southfield event venue closure leaves local couples scrambling

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published February 26, 2020

 Shawnie Pickett and her fiancé, Anthony Ray, were left scrambling to find a new wedding venue following the news of Noah’s Event Center in Southfield closing.

Shawnie Pickett and her fiancé, Anthony Ray, were left scrambling to find a new wedding venue following the news of Noah’s Event Center in Southfield closing.

Photo provided by Shawnie Pickett

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SOUTHFIELD — A day that was meant to be filled with joy and anticipation has left couples anxious and disappointed after a local event venue closed its doors recently.

According to a document from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central Utah Division, Noah Corp., operators of Noah’s Event Venue, filed for bankruptcy Feb. 6.

Due to the filing, Noah’s terminated operations and closed all of its operating venues, which are spread across the U.S., according to the filing.

In Michigan, there were two Noah’s locations: one in Auburn Hills, which closed in October, and one in Southfield, which closed this month.

The news of the closures have left couples reeling.

Shawnie Pickett, a Southfield resident and a member of Facebook group Noah’s Event Venue Closure Support Group by Wedding Professionals, said that she and her fiancé, Anthony Ray, had the date set for July 18 for their nuptials at Noah’s in Southfield.

Pickett and Ray said they planned for a colorful summer wedding, with hues of blue and purple, and a bridal party of 16.

The couple settled on Noah’s because of its location, 26100 Northwestern Highway; the price; and the amenities the venue offered, Pickett said.

According to its website, Noah’s Southfield location touted a “customizable, elegant and modern event venue.” The Southfield location opened in 2019.

“We were like, ‘OK, this is going to be good. All we have to do is bring in our centerpieces and bring in our food and other decorations,’” she said. “They were going to provide chivari chairs, tables, specialty linen — we told them how we wanted things set up and gave them our colors.”

Pickett said she learned on Facebook that the Auburn Hills location was closing, and she thought the same might happen to the Southfield venue. Pickett said she was assured that the closure would not affect her wedding.

“I breathed. I was like, ‘OK. Excellent. I’m good. We’re in the clear,’” she said.

Everything was going smoothly, Pickett said, until her dad called with some unfortunate news.

“Me and my fiancé were sitting on the couch watching a movie, and that’s when the news report had hit. My father called and said that … the venue was closing. I said, ‘No, that’s the Auburn Hills location.’ And he said, ‘No. Southfield is closing. I just heard it,’” Pickett said. “We were both just lost and confused sitting here.”

The same day, Pickett said, she reached out to her contact at Noah’s, but she didn’t hear back. Soon afterward, she discovered that she had been sent bankruptcy paperwork via email, but it went to her spam folder.

Since the news of the closure broke, Pickett said she hasn’t been able to get in contact with anyone from the venue.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone yet at all. Whoever is representing them is sending emails, but right now, there’s no one answering the phone,” she said.

Pickett, her fiancé and her father were worried that they wouldn’t be able to get their deposits back. However, Pickett said the purchases were made on a credit card, and her father was able to dispute the charges — about $7,500 worth, she said.

“They still have never given anyone a heads up, like, ‘Hey, we’re in bankruptcy but we’re going to give you your money back at least,’” she said.

Thankfully, Pickett said, she and Ray were able to save a date in July at the Corner Ballpark in Detroit, which is the former Tiger Stadium.

Pickett said she is now behind on wedding planning after being forced to devote her time to handling the news of the closure and finding a new venue. She has yet to find a wedding dress, she said.

“I just hope that everybody who was affected by this is able to have their special day. It’s one of those moments where you want to break down and cry, but there’s no time to cry right now,” she said. “It’s a setback, but sometimes things will come up a whole lot better than what the situation was prior. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook on the situation and then move forward.”

Kenneth Cannon, an attorney for Noah Corp., did not return a request for comment by press time.

A representative of Noah’s Southfield location could not be reached for comment by press time.

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