A Korean restaurant in Sydney’s CBD is facing disciplinary action after serving 86 standard drinks to a group of five over six hours.

NSW Police allege that the group were celebrating a birthday at the Haru Fusion Soju Lounge in October 2018 when they were served one round of beers, followed by 17 bottles of soju (nine of which were delivered to the table sealed).

Two patrons from the group were found later that night unconscious and covered in vomit on the road and footpath near the venue. Police were called to the area at 1:35am by a passer-by who found the pair near the Clarence Street venue. Road workers had moved one patron from the road, where he had been sleeping, before both were taken to hospital for treatment.

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has imposed a strike against licensee Chris Chang for the incident, under the NSW Government’s Three Strikes disciplinary scheme. Licensees with strikes can face a range of actions under the scheme. If three strikes are received, licenses can be suspended or permanently removed.

Authority Chair Philip Crawford said this is one of the most serious cases of a venue disregarding their responsible service of alcohol obligations.

“It is almost beyond belief that venue staff could serve such a large amount of alcohol to a group of five patrons and not take any steps to avoid extreme intoxication,” Crawford said. “The fact one of the patrons was passed out on the road highlights the risk of serious injury or death.”

Crawford also said the Authority were also considering other implications for the venue, such as special conditions on their liquor licence and winding back the approved trading hours.

The seriousness of the matter can be seen in CCTV footage from the night, showing a female in the group being carried by her arms and legs and a male falling over. In another shot, a staff member can be seen walking past a patron clearly asleep at the table without taking any action.

The Authority’s decision document notes licensee Chang was not present on the night and was told about what happened a day or two later. It also notes that since the offence occurred, the venue has taken its own actions, including additional training for all staff and managers.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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