Sydney Korean soju restaurant in hot water after patrons pass out after downing 86 drinks

A Sydney restaurant owner is in hot water after a group of diners became so drunk that some were later found passed out on the street.

Key points:

  • One woman and a man were found unconscious on the street in pools of vomit
  • The alcohol content in the Korean liquor soju can be as high as 50 per cent
  • The NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority has imposed a strike against the venue licensee

Police allege the group of five were served 86 shots of the potent Korean liquor soju during a boozy six-hour birthday celebration at the Haru Fusion Soju Lounge in Sydney’s Castlereagh Street.

One female member of the group was so intoxicated, police found her unconscious and lying next to a pool of vomit outside the venue on October 11 last year.

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

CCTV footage from the restaurant showed a female staff member not taking any action as she walked straight past a male from the group as he slept at a table in the restaurant.

The footage also showed another male falling over after losing his balance, and a female being carried out of the venue by two other patrons.

The alcohol content in Korea’s national drink can be as high as 50 per cent and has caused the heavy intoxication of other Sydney diners.

In November 2017, two women collapsed unconscious after drinking eight shots of soju at a restaurant in Sussex Street.

Haru Fusion licensee Chris Chang has been given a “first strike” by the NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority, under the NSW Government’s three strikes disciplinary scheme.

Authority chairman Philip Crawford said it was unacceptable that a group of five could be served that many drinks and further action may be taken against the venue, including winding back its trading hours.

“It’s a pretty serious amount of alcohol. The proof is in the pudding,” he said.

“This is a life-threatening incident which we just cannot tolerate.

“If they were unconscious from drinking too much alcohol, that’s a serious breach of the responsible service of alcohol regulations.”


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