Following the unexpected closure of Ballarat venue Seymours on Lydiard, residents have been scrambling to find new venues for their milestone celebrations.
The Courier understands that the locks were changed at the premises on Tuesday night, with managerial staff contacting people who had booked events and paid deposits. A sign on the door said the restaurant was closed from Wednesday due to “unexpected circumstance [sic]”.
Ballarat resident Brooke Verhey was set to hold her 21st birthday celebration on August 4. She said she paid the business $850 dollars, including a $500 deposit to book the space, but was told on Wednesday the venue was closed. Her money was returned late on Friday.
“It was stressful, because I knew I had limited time to find somewhere else, and I didn’t know if I’d even have enough money to cover it,” she said.
“I started organising my birthday about three months ago, just paying it off slowly. I made the last payment to cover food about two or three weeks ago.”
The hotel is run by Seymours Ballarat Pty Ltd, which is still a registered business according to documents obtained from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The current status of creditors, including outstanding employee entitlements, is unknown.
Biling Yu is listed as the sole director of the company. The Courier was has attempted to contact the business owners, but did not get a response by deadline.
The Ballarat Pub Craft Collective meet fortnightly at the hotel. The group’s Karen Corrie said she noticed tradesmen changing the locks on Tuesday night, but the situation’s “seriousness” didn’t sink in until later.
“There was some sort of friction, but we didn’t know what was going on,” she said.
The social group will now have to relocate for the third time after their former premises, The Munster Arms Hotel, went on hiatus.