Friday, May 24, 2013

Top-shelf Scheme: Authorities Raid 29 Bars For Selling Cheap Liquor As Premium Products

TRENTON — State authorities this morning raided 29 bars and restaurants across New Jersey on suspicion that they have been re-filling empty bottles of their most expensive liquors with cheaper alcohol.

Dubbed "Operation Swill," the year-long investigation found the establishments fooled customers so they could charge higher prices and bolster their profits, according to a statement released by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Authorities this morning seized various liquors and inventory records from the establishments, the statement said. The investigation began as a result of complaints, confidential informants and new technology used to test liquor covertly purchased at the establishments by detectives.

The establishments targeted were:

Applebee's, Kearny
Bell's Tavern, Lambertville
Blackthorn Restaurant, Parsippany
The Brick House, Wyckoff
Brunswick Grove, East Brunswick
Café 34, Matawan
Cucina Calandara, Fairfield
Graziano's Ristorante, Chesilhurst
Italian Affair, Glassboro
Murray's, Dover
Railroad Café, East Rutherford
Ruby Tuesday, Bridgewater
Sona Thirteen, Morristown
Sunset Tavern, Burlington
TGI Fridays, Clifton
TGI Fridays, East Hanover
TGI Fridays, East Windsor
TGI Fridays, Freehold
TGI Fridays, Hamilton
TGI Fridays, Hazlet
TGI Fridays, Linden
TGI Fridays, Marlboro
TGI Fridays, North Brunswick
TGI Fridays, Old Bridge
TGI Fridays, Piscataway
TGI Fridays, Springfield
TGI Fridays, West Orange
Villari's Lakeside, Gloucester Township
Yesterday's Marmora

State authorities said they will release more information about the operation at a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday in Trenton.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A TGI Fridays in Wood-Ridge was originally included on the list. But authorities sent out a new list replacing it with a TGI Fridays in Hamilton.

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