It’s a serious problem for a bar to be accused of watering the hooch, especially when they charge a lot for it. The State Liquor Authority has in recent years busted a number of local taverns for, among other offenses, serving inferior brands of booze as top-shelf stuff. The New York Post, not distinguishing among offenses, names Balthazar, Ultra Lounge, Discoteque, The Carriage House, Salt Bar, Katie’s Joint, Alphabet Lounge, Hop Devil Grill, Crash Mansion, and Marquee, the famous bottle club, which in addition to its class-leading $100,000 fine may expect harsh judgement for the suspicion that it may be cheating on its premium offerings.
We’re not sure how the SLA investigators make these calls anyway. Are agents trained to tell Stoli from Georgi? Or do they have some sort of device that detects parts-per-million of class?
Bar owners are naturally displeased with the heavy hand of the law. “We paid $8,000 for a fruit fly,” says Crash Mansion’s Nancy Brady, who was dunned when one such sweet-liquor-loving insect was perceived in a bottle of Jack.
At least they don’t have the headache faced by some folks upstate in Troy who invested heavily in a bar only to be denied a license by the SLA because they’re across the street from a Salvation Army outpost, even though there are other bars nearby.
Image via The Insider.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2009