NEW ORLEANS — To help celebrate her upcoming nuptials, Jacey Thiel looked to La Maison Creole for her bridal shower.
“My friend had her baby shower there about a year ago, it went really well it was super cute, and the food’s really good. The previous owners of La Maison Creole, I knew them, went to church with them. I actually worked there shortly as a teenager, and they had always had a really good reputation,” Thiel said.
Thiel says she signed the contract for the venue space in March 2022 to host her August 2022 event and paid a $600 deposit. She says the venue owners were supposed to reach out to her about a month before her event to finalize selections and for final payment, but she never heard back.
“I said, ‘I’m trying to pay. I‘m trying to do my food selections and nothing, no call back so we started emailing and nothing,” Thiel said.
With the date fast approaching, she had to make a decision.
“I had to start looking for someplace else,” Thiel said.
The owner of La Maison Creole is Kyle Winkler. Thiel is one of several customers who say Winkler has disappeared on them, but they’re not the only ones.
According to court documents, Winkler was charged with domestic abuse child endangerment. While waiting for trial, the court confined him to his home with an ankle monitoring device. Matt Dennis, owner of ASAP, a company that contracts with the courts to track defendants under house arrest, says Winkler never showed up to court.
“After failing to appear at his trial, then failing to appear at an appointment to reschedule that trial, he had agents who went to his home where he set two pitbulls out to the agents and removed his ankle monitor and is now still hiding and attempting to avoid being picked up,” Dennis said.
Agents are on the lookout for him. The court wants Winkler to stand trial, but Jacey Thiel has already made up her mind.
“Really, I would love to get my money back, but if anything, my hope is to make more noise to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen,” Thiel said.
We contacted Winkler’s lawyer for comment but have not heard back.