Several Houston-area restaurants were busted this year by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) for refilling top-shelf bottles of booze with inferior spirits.
A number of Houston restaurants were cited in the Commission’s investigation, including El Michoacan, Kuu Restaurant, Avani Lounge, and 747 Restaurant & Bar, reports the Houston Chronicle. Each of those restaurants received a written warning for refilling bottles, an illegal practice where businesses take empty liquor bottles and refill them to be sold again.
These practices allow businesses to sell cheaper well liquor at top shelf prices. Another practice called “brand substituting” has also been found where a customer is given a different brand of liquor than the one they ordered. The TABC has not yet disclosed how these shady business practices were discovered, but it’s possible that an unhappy employee, customer or competing business tipped the TABC off.
So watch out, Houston. Next time Grey Goose is on the menu, it really might just be Svedka.
UPDATE: A representative for Kuu told Houston Food Finder that original reports of the TABC’s findings were exaggerated, and that the citation issued to his restaurant did not involve alcohol substitution. Read the full report here.