Sting Operation Exposes Brooklyn As A Haven For Underage Drinkers

Sting Operation Exposes Brooklyn As A Haven For Underage Drinkers
Photo: Randy Hage

Well, this is embarrassing.

According to data from a recent sting operation led by the State Liquor Authority, Brooklyn is apparently a mecca for underage drinking. In fact, our borough came in “first place.”

The news comes via Gothamist: Between April 17 and May 1, the SLA conducted a citywide investigation into the epidemic, targeting 94 bodegas for underage drinking stings. The good-ish(?) news is that only 43 percent of businesses took the bait, but the no-escaping-from-it bad news is that nearly half of the 32 businesses caught red-handed were in Brooklyn. And perhaps the worst news by far is that more mortifying exposures are sure to come since the sting operation is slated to run through September. So, clean up your acts now, Brooklyn bodegas!

If protecting the reputation of our borough isn’t cause enough, maybe the staggering fines will make owners change their tune: Businesses caught selling to minors can be charged as much as $10,000 per violation with first-time offenders facing a minimum $2,500 fine. Scared straight yet?

If not, here’s the full list of Brooklyn-based cautionary tales offenders:

J & J Hooper Grocery, 396 Hooper Street

Mariele Grocery Corp., 380 South 2nd Street

Natalie Grocery Corp., 361 South 4th Street

Cruz Grocery Store, 386 South 5th Street

Broadway Candy & Grocery, 267 Broadway

LB Grocery Store & Deli Corp., 296 Broadway

Williamsburg Organic Food Corp., 153 Havemeyer Street

Jo An Inc., Park Slope Deli, 294 7th Avenue

The Avenue Café Inc., 305 7th Avenue

Prospect Wine Shop LTD., 322 7th Avenue

396 Deli Grocery Inc., 396 7th Avenue

MPM Enterprises Seventh Inc., 402-404 7th Avenue

Seven Eleven Inc., 520 5th Avenue

493 5th Avenue Food Corp., 493 5th Avenue

Primetime Liquors Corp., 427 5th Avenue

Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk



  1. I can’t help but notice that this list is not so much from Brooklyn as much as ithe is from the same particular neighborhoods:
    Williamsburg, Park Slope, Bushwick, etc.

    • Hi Amanda,

      The sting targeted a number of bodegas in South Williamsburg and Park Slope. I’m guessing they’ll do other neighborhoods as the operation goes on. I’m relatively sure we’ll find that this is a borough-wide problem, regardless of the neighborhoods targeted.

  2. Hey Nikita,

    Nice story. Thanks for the credit on the photo. Just wanted to let you know that this bodega was located at Albany and Pacific, in the Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, NY. It is now closed. I also wanted to let you know that this is not a photo of that bodega…it is a photo of one of my miniature storefront sculptures in 1/12th scale. If you look closely at the right window, you can see the reflection of my hand holding a camera. My work is often mistaken for the real thing. If you wish to take a look at my other NY inspired storefronts, you can see my work at


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