By Andrew Starke
Merivale Group flagship Ivy has seen its trading licence suspended as police investigate an incident that occurred on Saturday night involving the venue’s security staff and patrons.
The police have successfully applied to the Local Court to suspend Ivy’s trading until Wednesday, August 31.
No other Merivale operation is affected by the shutdown.
Police also believe that a forensic examination of the area was compromised by hotel management allegedly ordering the crime scene be cleaned before police arrived
In a statement released to TheShout, a Merivale spokesperson confirmed an incident had occurred involving several members of the super-club’s security staff.
“The shutdown was ordered under Section 82 of the Liquor Act. We are taking action in the NSW Supreme Court to review the order,” it said.
“We are assisting police with their enquiries and have suspended the security staff involved in the incident until the conclusion of a full investigation by the police and Merivale management.
“We have initiated a full review of our security protocols and employment policies to ensure the continued safety of our patrons.
“This is the first incident of this nature that has occurred at Ivy since it opened four years ago.”
Late last year, Merivale chief Justin Hemmes told TheShout that Ivy was one of the safest venues in Australia and patrons had almost no chance of being assaulted while visiting his club.
At the time he praised his security staff while calling for a greater focus on self-responsibility.
“We work incredibly hard to keep ourselves in the lowest tier (on the NSW Government's list of violent venues) possible but for our size I would argue that we are one of the safest, if not the safest, venue in the country," he said.
“You have more chance of being struck by lightning than being assaulted at Ivy.”
Police have sought and were granted the 72-hour closure order following 'a vicious assault' on a man at the weekend.
At about 1:30am yesterday morning (Sunday, August 28), a number of men were ejected from the George Street hotel.
They allegedly returned to the hotel and an altercation occurred with security guards.
Police say a 29-year-old man was detained by the guards and separated from his friends.
“He was allegedly held down, repeatedly kicked and punched and gagged, before being taken to the basement security area where the assault allegedly continued,” said a NSW police spokesperson.
Police from The Rocks Local Area Command and NSW Ambulance Paramedics were called to the scene about 2am.
The alleged victim was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital with serious facial injuries, which are not considered life-threatening.
“The forensic examination of the area was hampered after hotel management allegedly ordered the crime scene be cleaned before police arrived,” said a police statement.
Police applied for and were granted a crime scene warrant for the licensed premise.
Two men, 25 and 30, who were performing security duties at the hotel, were arrested at the scene and subsequently charged with wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent.
Police have now served a 'Notice of Urgent Short Term Closure Order', obtained under Section 82 of the Liquor Act, upon the George Street premises.
The 72-hour order came into effect just after 12am today (Monday, August 29).
Police continue to appeal for witnesses to the alleged attacks on the man to come forward.
They’re particularly keen to hear from anyone who was in Ash Street or Palings Lane, near Martin Place, around the time of the incidents.