By Triana O'Keefe, editor – Australian Hotelier

Asked to recount his earliest working experience, Merivale boss Justin Hemmes had a surprising response for Australian Hotelier magazine.

In an exclusive interview this week, Hemmes recalled an anecdote from the opening night of Hotel CBD, the multilevel Sydney venue.

"This was back in 1993 or 1994, and I remember there weren’t many pubs or hotels that had DJs, so we had a great DJ playing. It was about 11 o’clock at night, the place was jumping. I was standing on the spiral stairs, halfway between the first floor, looking at the crowd and seeing how things were going. The next thing I know everything stopped. The music stopped, the lights turned off and the emergency lights came on. We just lost power throughout the building and I freaked out."

"I remember bolting down the spiral stairs, pushing my way through the crowd at ground level, down more stairs into the basement where the power supply was. I went straight to the electrical meters and discovered something was jamming the bi-fold doors. Then I heard this screaming noise. I managed to pull the doors open and a couple had taken it upon themselves to get extremely 'comfortable' in the electrical cupboard. As they were in the motion of what they were doing her back slid up the electrical box and turned every circuit breaker off."

"You could definitely say Merivale brings people together!"

For the full interview with Justin Hemmes, see the upcoming Leaders' Forum edition of Australian Hotelier.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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