Popular Adelaide restaurant Golden Boy will mount a court challenge to a $5,000 fine it received for allegedly breaching COVID-19 capacity restrictions last November.

The Thai restaurant was slapped with the fine on November 27 while strict COVID-19 venue capacity restrictions were in place as the state emerged from a snap lockdown triggered by a cluster linked to medi-hotels and a pizza bar.

Golden Boy licensee James Hillier appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this morning, and said he had received “very little detail” about why the venue was fined, and whether it could be challenged.

A man wearing a black face mask outside a sandstone building
Golden Boy licensee James Hillier speaks to the media outside court this morning.(

ABC News: Gabriella Marchant


“We were visited [by police] on the night, a head count was done under the recently altered conditions that we were trading under … and between eight and 12 weeks later, we received an expiation,” Mr Hillier said outside court.

“This has been the first occasion that it has been able to come before the court for us to seek the evidence from the night.

At the time, emergency COVID-19 directions meant up to 100 seated diners were allowed in restaurants as long as that did not amount to more than 1 person per 4 square metres.

A large three-storey Italianate 19th century pub on an intersection
Golden Boy occupies the historic Botanic Hotel alongside the Africola restaurant.(

Supplied: McGee’s Property


Mr Hillier said the venue had been doing its best to adhere to venue capacity restrictions at what had been a challenging time for the restaurant, as well as the industry in general.

“Every business has difficulties — some more than others. It’s just a challenging time for everyone, but we’re no better or worse off than anyone else.

“Hopefully, once vaccination levels get up to a certain point, we can relax to a point where it’s not so difficult to meet the conditions.”

The matter will come before the Adelaide Magistrates Court again in October.

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