BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Just three weeks ago, Antone’s Banquet Centre owner Ross Scianna told 33 WYTV News he had no plans to close the venue — in fact, he said he hoped it would stay open “forever.” But now there’s a new wrinkle in the story.
Rumors of the business closing started circulating on social media last month. The event planner at Antone’s claimed those rumors started with Scianna when he told her they were closing, and to call clients to cancel their events.
Alicia Trekur had faith Antone’s would hold her wedding reception. She saw the WKBN interview with Scianna, but was hearing the right things from a person she identified as Richard when the business started struggling.
“He told us that he had four potential new owners, that he had been putting me off, that he could have an offer on the building,” Trekur said.
Today, the doors are locked. The lights in the building and the message board by the street are turned off.
On the front door — a notice from Ohio Edison saying it would take $2,700 to get the power turned back on.
“Everything that they’ve told us has been a lie so I don’t believe them anymore,” Trekur said. “At first, I did. I thought it was a misunderstanding, but I think they’re just playing us around so they don’t have to give us our money back.”
She and her fiancee couldn’t wait anymore. They found a new hall and had to move their wedding date up six weeks, but still need a place for the ceremony.
The bride-to-be paid a $2,000 deposit in August — 14 months before the wedding date.
“I’m grateful that my wedding is six months away, I still have time. I feel terrible for the brides whose weddings are next month or in May. I definitely feel for them and I just wish they would give us some answers,” Trekur said.
Now she wants to know what’s going on.
“Our biggest question is are we going to get our money back and why aren’t you answering us? Are you ever going to answer us?”
Poland High School also decided it can’t wait for an answer any longer and moved its prom to the Georgetown. Campbell High School is reaching out to other halls for its prom, too.
Everyone calling Antone’s or Scianna’s cell phone is getting a message saying the line has been changed, disconnected, or is no longer in service.
Tony Marino drove up to the banquet center Wednesday, hoping to get information about holding an event at Antone’s.
“I wanna have some choices. I have this place, and another place, and I wonder what’s going on here,” he said.
Mike Cefalde, who went to school with Scianna, feels terrible for him, saying what’s happening to the business is devastating to the family.
“Everybody knows Antone’s. They know it…A family business that’s been in Youngstown since the ’90s.”
Antone’s Banquet Centre’s electric bill shows the business might need an infusion of cash. Time will tell if anyone is willing to buy the business or the property and take it over, or maybe use it for something else.
The confusion remains for those who have scheduled events there. That will continue until someone answers their questions.