Liquor was seized from the TGI Friday's in East Hanover and 28 other bars and restaurants throughout New Jersey Wednesday.
The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, with the assistance of the Division of Criminal Justice, seized alcohol as part of "Operation Swill," and served demands for records from 29 licensed bars and restaurants throughout the state according to a release sent out by the state ABC.
The year-long Operation Swill probe involved more than 100 state investigators looking into the alleged substitution of premium liquor brands with "well brand spirits," or non-premium brands.
The ABC investigation shows that these establishments were allegedly filling premium brand bottles with non-premium brands in an attempt to fool the customer and increase profits. They would charge the premium cost, but pour the lower quality brand.
This investigation started after the ABC received citizen complaints, confidential informants and new technology used to test samples taken covertly from the licensed establishments by state detectives.
The following establishments were targeted in Operation Swill:
- Railroad Café, East Rutherford
- Sona Thirteen, Morristown
- Blackthorn Restaurant, Parsippany
- The Brick House, Wyckoff
- Sunset Tavern, Burlington
- Graziano’s Ristorante, Chesilhurst
- Villari’s Lakeside, Gloucester Township
- Yesterdays, Marmora
- Italian Affair, Glassboro
- Bells Tavern, Lambertville
- Brunswick Grove, East Brunswick
- Murray’s, Dover
- Cucina Calandara, Fairfield
- Café 34, Matawan
- Applebee’s, Kearny
- Ruby Tuesday, Bridgewater
- TGI Fridays, West Orange
- TGI Fridays, East Windsor
- TGI Fridays, Old Bridge
- TGI Fridays, North Brunswick
- TGI Fridays, Piscataway
- TGI Fridays, Freehold
- TGI Fridays, Marlboro
- TGI Fridays, Hazlet
- TGI Fridays, East Hanover
- TGI Fridays, Linden
- TGI Fridays in Woodridge
- TGI Fridays, Springfield
- TGI Fridays, Clifton
State investigators have scheduled a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton to further detail the operation.