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  National
Helios Pledges Better Service to Foreigners
Very popular with foreigners, particularly Westerners, Helios Pub & Grill in Itaewon offers top-quality Western dishes and drinks. But Helios recently became the target of complaints from a group of Irish customers who claimed that they were unduly driven out of the restaurant by its "bouncers."

The "bouncers" were found out to be security guards called off by the "scared" restaurant staff from nearby security companies. And the guns mentioned in the contributed article were gas guns legally allowed for security guards or even for personal protection.

After The Seoul Times ran on its front page the Irish side of the story, it decided to cover the opposite side of the story. The following is based on the interview with Mr. Joe Shin, president of Helios Pub & Grill and one of the police officers who were on the scene on the night of the incident.

At around 3 a,m. on Sept 12, 2003 there were skirmishes(physical conflict) between about 40 Irish customers and the restaurant staff. When the Irish people were asked to leave the restaurant 30 minutes after the last call they went on a rampage with the
restaurants staff.

The violent stage of the incident started when one tipsy Irish guy hit one of the Helios employees with a 500-cc beer mug. The mug was broken into pieces on the floor.

Fearful of more violence by the shouting Irish customers its manager called nearby security companies. Five guards arrived and led those Irish customers out of the restaurant.

President Shin said he had to excercise extreme caution when he and his staff led the Irish out of Helios. Even when he saw Irish people were getting rough and tough with the security guards he asked the guards to take special care of the Irish customers. Meanwhile, Itaewon police said they did not ignore the case on that night. Police said they had to break up the physical violence between about 40 Irish people and six Korean security guards.

Police said both the foreign victims and the guards who were hurt during the physical violence did not want to take their case to the law. Police denied the allegations that they deliberately disregarded foreigners' "plea" for legal assistance. They said they even accepted a statement from one of the foreign witnesses on the scene.

President Shin said the "unfortunate incident" happened outside his restaurant has nothing to do with his staff. Yet he was quite apologetic toward all his customers who were in the restaurant on that night.

"I feel sorry that such an 'unfortunate' incident happened in our restaurant," says Mr. Shin, "Foreigners are our valuable customers, as well." About 80 percent of the Helios customers are foreigners.

Mr. Shin says he will do his best to solve "misunderstanding" between Irish customers and his restaurant staff soon. He hopes that his restaurant will serve all foreign customers including Irish people with better food in a clean and cozy environment.

Opened Jan. 9, 2003 Helios offers a large assortment of Western food and drinks with its 22 well-mannered and highly-trained staff. Helios is open from 4 p.m. till 4 a.m. 365 days a year.



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