Liquor licence lost over 'gigolos'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 January, 1994, 12:00am

A KOWLOON City karaoke bar has failed to have its liquor licence renewed because it employed male ''public relations'' staff.

The refusal by the Urban Council was supported by police who found 10 to 22 male waiters in the 116 square metre premises during seven raids between October 28, 1993, and January 4.

The licence applicant, Judy Chu Dick-sheung, manager of VIPs, had told the police that the waiters would accompany customers to sing if requested.

A member of the council's Liquor Licensing Board, Daniel Wong Kwok-tung, said the provision of such services was a breach of a condition attached to the bar's temporary three-month liquor licence, which expired yesterday.

He said the condition was that the bar had to stop employing men as public relations staff, a service which had been provided by VIPs since December 1992.

''The licence applicant agreed to the condition at that time,'' Mr Wong said.

Although Ms Chu explained that the public relations members of staff were on contracts which could not be terminated immediately, Mr Wong said she failed to provide sufficient evidence of their conditions.

''The police thus believe that the bar has not changed its business nature, it has only renamed the public relations people waiters,'' a discussion paper for the board said.

Police said the large number of waiters was abnormal because it was not proportional to the size of the premises, which only had four tables.

The paper added that the bar had hinted at the provision of ''immoral services'' by men.

But there was no direct evidence that the waiters were gigolos and Mr Wong said it was often difficult for the police to prove that the place was being used for prostitution.

''Premises like this are often used as a meeting place between customers and prostitutes,'' Mr Wong said.

Chairman of the board San Stephen Wong Hon-ching said: ''The applicant showed she was not a fit person to hold a liquor licence because she was frequently not available on the premises.''