Haru Fusion Soju Lounge; drink binge

Police fury: bar patrons hospitalised after 86-drink binge

September 1, 2019
By Alana House

The licensee of a Korean restaurant in Sydney’s CBD is facing disciplinary action after two patrons became so intoxicated during a drink binge that they were found passed out on the road outside the venue.

The male and female patrons were part of a group of five who NSW police allege were served up to 86 standard drinks of soju over six hours at the Haru Fusion Soju Lounge in October last year.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has imposed a strike against licensee Chris Chang under the NSW Government’s Three Strikes disciplinary scheme, and is considering further action against the Castlereagh St venue including winding back its trading hours.

At about 1.35am on October 11, police attended to an unconscious female located outside the venue next to a pool of vomit, and an unconscious male covered in vomit nearby.

The man had earlier been lying unconscious on the road before being moved to the footpath by road workers. 

The pair was part of a group of two females and three males who took part in a six-hour drink binge at the restaurant to celebrate a birthday.

CCTV footage indicates that a female staff member simply walked passed a male patron sleeping at a table in the restaurant and did not take any action. Another male patron fell over after losing his balance.

Haru Fusion Soju Lounge; drink binge

The woman found unconscious on the footpath was carried from the venue by two other patrons. Both patrons were taken to hospital by ambulance.

Authority chair Philip Crawford said it would be hard to find a more serious case of a venue showing blatant disregard for 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.

“The Authority will consider imposing a range of special conditions on the venue’s liquor licence, as well as winding back the venue’s trading hours.”  

Licensees with strikes face a range of remedial action and those incurring three strikes can have their licences suspended or be permanently removed from the industry.

The incident follows a string of convictions in the last 12 months, including
the 88 Pocha small bar in Sydney’s CBD being ordered to shut for two weeks after being caught serving beer and soju to a 17-year-old; and staff at Sydney CBD restaurant Gangnam Station dumping two unconscious female patrons on the street after letting them drink 16 shots of spirits within 40 minutes.

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