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29 NJ Bars Caught Serving Phony Top-Shelf Booze

State officials have seized inventory and demanded records from 29 bars and restaurants from around New Jersey who allegedly sold low-quality products to patrons who thought they were buying premium brands.

Dubbed “Operation Swill,” the year-long investigation was conducted by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. The seizures announced Wednesday were done with the assistance of the state’s Criminal Justice Division.

Officials say the establishments allegedly filled premium brand bottles with non-premium brands in an effort to fool customers and increase their profits. The customer paid for the premium brand, but was instead, unbeknownst to the customer, poured the non-premium brand.

The enforcement action was executed by more than 100 state investigators. It stems from citizen complaints, confidential informants, and new technology used to test samples taken covertly from the establishments.

The following establishments were targeted in Operation Swill:

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

NEXT STORY: River Water and Rubbing Alcohol Found in Booze Bottles at NJ Restaurants

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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