Southport

Liquor Permit Suspended at Southport Restaurant After Large Fight, Shooting Breaks Out

NBC 5 News

The Department of Consumer Protection has suspended a Southport restaurant's liquor license after a large brawl and shooting broke out over the weekend.

Wafu Asian Bistro, located on Post Road in the Southport section of Fairfield, had their license suspended Monday following several events that took place there in the early morning hours of June 19.

But it's not the first time police have been called to disturbances at the restaurant, according to DCP officials.

Fairfield Police responded to reports of an assaulted patron on June 18. On March 31, liquor control agents identified 10 minors that were served alcohol on the premise. In mid-May, the fire marshal had to shut down the restaurant because it was over capacity. And in February, a bouncer illegally pepper-sprayed six patrons without cause, according to the DCP.

In the June 19 incident, officials said a person was shot and taken to the hospital for treatment. The bullet went through his left arm and left side. Several cameras found inside the restaurant were inoperable, police said.

Authorities learned that a large party, called "Sin City," was being held at the restaurant. Throughout their investigation, police said they determined that the restaurant was being converted to a gentlemen's club during the late night hours.

Wafu has also hosted regular college nigh events that appear to have drawn a large number of underage students, police said. Two nearby colleges have reported to police that underage students were returning to campus intoxicated after going to the restaurant.

Officials said several colleges and residents in the area have complained to police about the general conduct of the establishment.

Wafu's liquor permit was first issued 10 years ago and is set to expire at the beginning of Jan. 2023.

“It is clear from these repeated events, that this establishment currently poses a significant public health and safety risk to the surrounding community,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “We expect our permittees to be good neighbors in their communities and to take the health and safety of their customers and neighbors seriously."

In the request for a summary suspension, Fairfield Police said the establishment "poses an immediate danger to its customers, vehicular traffic, and the public."

The liquor license is suspended effective immediately. As a result, the restaurant can't serve alcohol until further notice.

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