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​Kings Cross venue prosecuted for serious liquor offerences

Tuesday 8 July 2014      [PDF, 46kb]

Kings Cross licensed venue Déjà vu has been ordered to pay more than $23,000 in fines and costs and had its liquor licence suspended following serious breaches of the liquor laws.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) prosecuted the licensee of Déjà vu, John Barakat, for five breaches of the State’s responsible service of alcohol laws and special conditions designed to reduce intoxication and violence and anti-social behaviour.

Following a guilty plea to all five offences, Mr Barakat was convicted in Downing Centre Local Court on Monday (7 July 2014).

He was fined a total of $18,732, ordered to pay $5,000 in professional costs to OLGR and had his liquor licence suspended for three months.

Déjà vu operated under an on-premises (restaurant) liquor licence with a primary service authorisation.

However, the court found that CCTV footage of the venue clearly showed it operating as a bar or nightclub as opposed to a dining restaurant.

OLGR inspectors carried out covert inspections of the venue last year and detected the following breaches:

  • The venue’s primary purpose was the sale and supply of liquor and not food as required by its licence type/authority;
  • The venue breached a ban on shots after midnight by serving two shots to undercover inspectors;
  • The venue sold more than four drinks to a person after midnight in breach of a special condition; &
  • The licensee permitted a staff member to serve alcohol without a current Responsible Service of Alcohol competency card.

OLGR Executive Director Paul Newson welcomed the court’s decision saying it sent a strong message to all licensees that they faced serious consequences if they repeatedly breach the liquor laws.

"OLGR maintains an active presence in high-risk precincts and is actively targeting irresponsible liquor promotions and compliance with responsible service of alcohol requirements. OLGR will take enforcement action against any licensee identified as operating irresponsibly," Mr Newson said.

"This venue is in a high-risk precinct subject to special conditions to prevent and reduce intoxication and violence and compliance with the liquor laws is essential to protect patrons and the community at large.

"There is no place in the industry for rogue operators. This venue has had a history of regulatory failures resulting in a strike being incurred under the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme and a 72-hour shutdown order. OLGR has lodged a disciplinary complaint with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority seeking the disqualification of Mr Barakat, cancellation of the liquor licence and further monetary penalties."

Media contact: Mark Nolan 0421 613 720