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Emily Welker, Published September 16 2013

Landlord sues Bridal Shop owner for $49,000 in back rent

FARGO – The owner of a bridal salon that closed in sudden fashion here last month has been sued by her landlord, who is seeking an eviction and back rent.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Cass County District Court alleges Gretchen Ingbretson, owner of The Bridal Shop, owes Agassiz Square $48,800 in rent on the space the store rented at 3223 13th Ave. S., dating back to June of this year ,as well as late fees.

“They’ve struggled a bit with late rent in the past,” said Agassiz Square attorney Gregory Thompson, who said Ingbretson had signed a 15-year lease with his clients. Ingbretson told The Forum she took the 60-year-old business over from a family member in 2008.

“The location was a good one – she should have been able to make it,” Thompson said.

The closure of the store has left dozens of brides and their wedding parties in the lurch, wondering where their gowns are. Many former customers have told The Forum they paid The Bridal Shop for dresses, but their gowns were being held in warehouses because the manufacturers had not been paid.

The landlord is seeking to evict the shop, which has been closed since the last week of August.

Thompson said Ingbretson had largely relinquished control of the space, but there is quite a bit of inventory still there.

An email to the store asking for comment was not returned Monday, and a call to a number listed as Ingbretson’s said it was no longer in service.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541