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THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan & Courtesy of Kathryn Martino-Miranda
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan & Courtesy of Kathryn Martino-Miranda
Kathryn Martino-Miranda and her fiancé Erik Lopez said a Bayside banquet hall dropped the ball on their wedding.

A bride-to-be almost had her big day botched when an embattled Bayside banquet hall began shirking her calls two months before her nuptials, The Courier has learned.

Kathryn Martino-Miranda and her fiancé Erik Lopez had booked their March 3 wedding ceremony and reception at Patrizia’s of Bayside in November 2012, signing a $5,000 contract for a party of 55 people.

But when the Merrick, Long Island couple called back one month later, they said management would not return calls, emails bounced and voicemails could not be left.

“There was no way to get in touch with them. I felt like the rug was pulled out under me,” said Martino-Miranda, 36. “It’s cowardly not to call people back. It’s such a special day for the whole family, not just the bride and groom. It took us by so much surprise.”

Patrizia’s halted lunch and dinner service at its 201-10 Cross Island Parkway site in December 2012, The Courier reported, after being open less than a year. Officials at the family-style Italian eatery said they were only offering catering events.

The restaurant honored three full parties on January 7, according to a source close to Patrizia’s operators, but could not confirm they would uphold their March commitment to the lovebirds.

“That’s a business decision my partners and I are going to have to make,” said Paul Kolaj, business advisor and brother to Giorgio Kolaj, who is one of Patrizia’s operators. “We are doing our best to honor every party. We really are.”

Kolaj said Patrizia’s business owners would refund deposits if they could not fulfill their promises, but Martino-Miranda said she still has not heard back from a single manager or owner.

“It’s sort of heartless. You have two families who are really excited to celebrate a day like this. It creates an incredible amount of stress,” Martino-Miranda said. “You have a financial budget. You have things planned. It really threw everything for a loop. How do you do this to people?”

The pair, who have since found a new site for their reception, said they had to shell out another $500 for new and expedited invitations.

They do not expect to be reimbursed their $200 deposit.

“I didn’t feel comfortable trusting them with such a big day like that,” the future bride said. “I hope no one does this to their daughter.”

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