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Officials: At Least 1 NJ Bar Under Investigation Served Fake Alcohol To Customers

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Kim Glovas Kim Glovas
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By Kim Glovas

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — The New Jersey Attorney General and the Director of the division of Alcoholic Beverage Control released details Thursday on the investigation into dozens of establishments in the state accused of selling cheap — or even fake — alcohol to customers from premium bottles.

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State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says samples were taken from numerous establishments after complaints from consumers and other sources. Spirit samples, bought at the bars and restaurants, were ordered “neat” in January and February and then sent for testing. Chiesa says some of the substitutions bordered on dangerous.

“There were a couple of incredibly interesting ones, one was described to me as essentially “river water” — they didn’t even think it was actually tap water. Another one we believe was rubbing alcohol and caramel color to make it look like a whiskey.”

He says the term river water refers to dirty water, or cheaper spirits with water added until it was just water. Any punishments will be leveled against the alcohol license holder, not any individuals.

The bars and restaurants named in the investigation are:

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

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