Darby Street restaurant 5 Sawyers fined for operating as a bar

LIQUOR: 5 Sawyers restaurant was fined $4700 for operating as a bar.
LIQUOR: 5 Sawyers restaurant was fined $4700 for operating as a bar.

A NEWCASTLE restaurant that had only one item on its menu after 9pm – a German-style pretzel with cheese dipping sauce – has been fined $4700 for operating as an unauthorised bar.

5 Sawyers licensee Benjamin Dewson pleaded guilty last week in Newcastle Local Court after the offence was detected during a Liquor and Gaming NSW compliance operation.

Inspectors visited the Darby Street restaurant between 9.35pm and 10.25pm on September 16 last year and found no table service was being offered and patrons were buying drinks from the bar. The duty officer told inspectors they only had a “limited menu” available after 9pm, with the sole item being a “German-style pretzel with a cheese dipping sauce and cracked pepper”.

Magistrate David Price fined Mr Dewson $1200 and ordered him to pay legal costs of $3500. 

This is the second similar conviction for a Darby Street venue; in February the former operators of Soho were fined for operating their restaurant like a nightclub.