'Operation Swill': 29 NJ Restaurants and Bars Including 13 TGI Friday's Accused of Selling Bottom-Shelf Booze in Premium Bottles


New Jersey investigators raided 29 bars and restaurants accused of refilling premium liquor bottles with cheap booze, The Star-Ledger reports.

Authorities say today’s raid is the result of a year-long investigation dubbed “Operation Swill.” The state's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control found that the suspected establishments routinely played the classic liquor bait-and-witch to rip off customers and increase profits. According to The Star-Ledger, the establishments range from cheap dives to fancy bars to chain restaurants. Texas-based chain TGI Fridays is the biggest alleged swindler on the list by far, with 13 locations listed. 

"You’re putting your money down and you come in after working and they’re cheating you on the back end, I don’t think that’s fair," Willie Allen, a TGI Friday’s patron, told The Star Ledger. "This is supposed to be a credible place. I don’t think this place is losing money."

In a statement, a company spokesperson said, "We have one of the most extensive bar and beverage programs in the industry, which sets a very high standard in the quality and service of our beverages."

Several restaurant owners and staff are insulted by the allegations, saying that they’ll check out in the end.

"I’m confident that it’ll come back and it’ll be proven we were pouring what’s on the label," said Brian Hertenstein, general manager of Blackthorn Irish Pub. "You spend two years of toil and sweat to build up an establishment, and then they make accusations like this before you can respond.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.