TGI Fridays Sued for Alleged Alcohol-Swap Scheme

By on May 31, 2013

Two New Jersey women have filed a class action lawsuit against TGI Fridays, alleging the restaurant chain served patrons cheap liquor camouflaged as top-shelf brands.

The class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of New Jersey consumers, is the latest development in what the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control has named “Operation Swill.”  The Division conducted a statewide investigation of 63 bars, of which 29 were identified as selling cheap alcohol for premium prices.   In one instance, investigators found that a bottle was filled with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and caramel color to give the appearance of scotch whiskey.

Thirteen TGI Fridays locations in Mercer, Monmouth and Middlesex counties were flagged.  These locations were operated by the Briad Group.

The lawsuit alleges that Briad enforced “a uniform policy” to “substitute cut-rate liquor” for premium brands to increase profits, which violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  The class action is asking for refunds as well as three times the price of every drink in punitive damages.

Here is a complete list of establishments targeted in the investigation:

  • 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

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