A number of almost-married couples have been left heartbroken after a popular wedding venue abruptly closed its doors.
The owner of Maximillian’s Restaurant at Verdun was forced to break the news to the couples earlier this week after their landlords claimed $500,000 in unpaid rent, 7 News reports.
The Adelaide Hills business now reads “temporarily closed” on Google.
The venue which is nestled among vineyards with panoramic views of the rolling landscape can host up to 270 guests.
Wedding guests book out the destination venue for the century-old homestead, golf club, cellar door and picturesque views.
However, landlords Max and Louise Hruska – who opened the restaurant more than four decades ago – say the situation has “not been good” for a while.
They say rent has not been paid in full for three years and the dispute is still before the courts.
Venue operator Andrew Friebe wrote to the couples with bookings saying the closure was due to “vexatious landlords” and a “failure” of the court system to provide a “timely and considered” decision, 7 News reports.
He has assured the couples their deposits will be paid back in full, but at least half a dozen couples will now have to scramble to find a new wedding venue.
“Despite the impossible financial position this has now put me in – I give you my commitment that I will return all deposits paid toward your booking,” Mr Friebe said.
A judgment in the case is expected to arrive by June.
The Hruska’s told 7 News they may have to sell the property.