The teenage girl was served beer and Korean spirits. Picture: Supplied
The teenage girl was served beer and Korean spirits. Picture: Supplied

Sydney bar forced to close after serving minor

A TRENDY Korean bar in Sydney's CBD will be shut down for two weeks after staff were caught serving alcohol to a minor.

The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority will this week move to suspend the liquor licence of 88 Pocha after staff admitted a 17-year-old girl drinking beer and Korean spirits had not been asked for ID during a sting late last year.

A spokesman for the agency said a group of six people at the small bar on Pitt Street attracted the attention of police officers due to their "youthful appearance" during a night out on December 7.

Head & Shoulders of restaurant/bar 88 Pocha at 371 Pitt Street Sydney. Picture: Richard Dobson
Head & Shoulders of restaurant/bar 88 Pocha at 371 Pitt Street Sydney. Picture: Richard Dobson

When questioned, a teenage girl who was unable to show ID admitted to being aged 17 and having drunk beer and soju - a popular Korean liquor.

A staff member allegedly told police officers the girl had not been asked for identification.

While one of the most serious offences under NSW liquor laws, its not the first red flag for the venue.

88 Pocha has previously been penalised for operating outside trading hours, selling bottles of soju in contravention of its liquor licence and allowing intoxication.

The spokesman said the venue's "poor compliance history" was also taken into account when deciding to suspend its liquor licence from November 7-20.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations Sean Goodchild said serving alcohol to minors was one of the most serious offences under NSW liquor laws "due to the high risks of harm".

"This case should serve as a reminder to all venues as we head into the busy festive season," he said.

"Under the Minors Sanction Scheme, escalating penalties apply for selling alcohol to under 18s including liquor licence suspensions, cancellations and disqualifications.

"Licensed venues are advised to ask for age ID of any patrons who appear under the age of 25."

The Daily Telegraph has contacted 88 Pocha for comment.