No Brunch at Haney’s Big House: Event host ‘seeking counsel’ after being forced to move event from Ferriday

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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FERRIDAY, La. — A social event coordinator says she will “seek counsel” after being forced to move a monthly social function from Haney’s Big House in Ferriday.

The monthly “Baddies Do Brunch” event hosted by Rashonda Brown moved to 49 East Franklin St. in Natchez on Sunday, May 21.

Brown shared a video on social media of a large crowd with hundreds of people dancing at the new location with the caption, “A Good Time Was Had.”

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In April, Brown hosted in the event at the Ferriday venue. She said she had previously paid a $300 rental fee and a $50 deposit to host the event at Haney’s but was forced to book an alternate location when Ferriday officials terminated the rental agreement.

The end to Brown’s rental agreement with Ferriday came shortly after a Ferriday business owner complained of “outrageous and obscene behavior” at a social gathering that took place Sunday, April 23, at Haney’s, which was when Brown last hosted a brunch there.

Natchez Police Chief Cal Geen said she received no reports or complaints from the event Sunday.

Last week, Ferriday Police Chief Sam King posted a notice on social media saying, “There will be NO brunch Sunday, May 21, 2023, at Haney’s Big House.”

He said he did so with the understanding that Brown had been contacted and that a refund was made available to her.

The legality of Brown’s contract was questioned at a recent Board of Aldermen meeting, and King has previously cited videos of a woman relieving herself outside the brunch venue as well as an increased number of automobile accidents the day of the event as concerns relating to the brunches.

There is also a question of whether the venue could be used for a private, for-profit function, which was posed by Ferriday Alderman Gloria Lloyd.

At a meeting earlier this month, Lloyd read aloud a rental agreement from 2015 that says, “Use of the facility for a profit function is strictly prohibited. No money shall be collected at the door for attendance at any function. Any breach of this contract is subject to forfeiture of the center and any fees collected.”

Grant funds awarded by the USDA for Haney’s prohibit the facility from being used for a profit, Lloyd added.

The 2015 agreement differs from the one Brown signed on April 4, 2023, which says nothing about the for-profit use of the facility. The brunch advertises breakfast plates and bottomless mimosas for $30 per person.

Brown said her gathering had been unfairly targeted and nothing illegal took place on the property in April

A previous letter from Attorney Marlin J. Jenkins, acting as Brown’s advisor, threatened a lawsuit against the Town of Ferriday if the contract were to be terminated.

“I will seek counsel,” Brown said on Monday. “He (Jenkins) advised me on some things but I have not hired an attorney as of yet.”

Brown said she has yet to receive a refund for leasing Haney’s for the event and also requested a letter from the town, “stating that they terminated my contract and the reason why.”

“No one has called me yet,” she said.

“It’s not so much that I had to have it there (at Haney’s),” she said. “I have a preference for venues that I like, and Haney’s has the outside feel that I’ve been looking for.”