Seaside Heights Bar Fined $15K, 'Jersey Shore' Cast Member Banned Over June Incident

Spicy Cantina reaches settlement with state

A boardwalk bar in Seaside Heights will be fined $15,000 and a "Jersey Shore" cast member will be banned from the establishment for two years under a settlement between the bar and the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The state agency announced the settlement Thursday, in which Spicy Cantina pleaded guilty to serving alcohol to Deena Cortese, 25, of New Egypt, while she was visibly intoxicated.

The fine against Spicy stems from a June 10 incident where MTV "Jersey Shore" cast member Cortese was arrested by borough police for disorderly conduct after being seen disrupting traffic while dancing in the street.

The state took action after it was observed by police that Cortese and an entourage that included an MTV crew, had been at Spicy's for about 90 minutes. After Cortese left, officials said, she began dancing in an intersection and appeared to be intoxicated after losing her balance several times.

Cortese then proceeded south on Ocean Terrace and grabbed onto the trunk of a car and continued to dance. Seaside Heights police said her behavior seriously restricted the flow of the traffic, which led to her being placed under arrest.

Following her arrest, Cortese told police that she had been drinking through the course of the day, officials said.

According to a statement released Thursday by the ABC, agency investigators learned that while at the establishment, Cortese was observed to be walking on the bar, falling on the ground and standing on a red bench at a table of random guests. At one point, the statement said, Cortese left the premises with an alcoholic beverage, walked onto the boardwalk and returned to the bar a short time later.

In addition to pleading to the visible intoxication charge, Spicy also admitted to serving Cortese drinks that she did not order, which is illegal.

Four staff members from Spicy submitted a letter to the ABC dated June 10 explaining that Cortese was served one alcoholic drink, a vodka and club soda, then was deemed to be intoxicated by the bar management. According to the letter, after cutting Cortese off, "she was served several shots of water, which she thought contained alcohol. She was also served non-alcoholic drink mix with fruit garnish. She drank multiple glasses without realizing that she was not drinking alcohol."

“ABC licensees are strictly liable for any violations of the law at their premises and have a responsibility to maintain control of their establishment," said Michael Halfacre, ABC director. "In this case, the management at Spicy Cantina and Mexican Grill were not in control."

The bar will pay a $15,000 fine and face a 10-day suspension of its license should it violate state ABC laws in the next two years.

Cortese will be banned from the establishment for two years as part of a special condition placed on its alcohol license.

"This settlement is a cautionary tale for licensees who might think ignoring the law for the sake of airtime is good for business," said Halfacre. "By turning a blind eye to the mayhem that can be associated with reality television, you are risking your livelihood. That is, without a doubt, bad for business."

Cortese eventually pleaded guilty to a borough ordinance violation over the incident and paid a small fine.

The show wrapped up filming of its in July. That season, which presumably will include the June 10 incident, is set to air starting in October.

Marianne September 13, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I no longer live at the Shore (miss it dearly) - tell me that the behavior of the cast does not reflect what Seaside has turned into - real people don't act like this - do they? I've been gone a long time, but love reading the Patch, makes me feel like I'm back home.
2much2say September 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I need a nice take out Mexican restaurant here in brick anyone know of one? As far the the "Jersey Shore" show, I watched as I like to see our area on tv, but they have displayed such a horrible, disgusting way of life. And to boot made millions. As we can't find jobs and struggle everyday PLEASE. What MTV should have done was to find REAL Jersey Shore cast members instead of these fools. I mean really you are at the beach, sleep all day, go to a tanning salon and work out and what are you really doing here?, just getting all skaned out and buff looking to get laid. Really do the young adults really act this way? I hope not b/c these girls are nothing what a Jersey Shore gal is. Guys are always looking for it but girls nah!, If all thses shows were out when I was young yeah, I would have been on one of these shows, insteAd of going to work. Ugh! All these people make me sick!
jack edmund September 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
why should we be shocked, these people from the so called jersey shore are an embarassment, its like watching a train wreck, whats really infuriating is they get paid for making fools of themselves, and the fools that watch them try to be them, the decline of America, its no wonder that Our economy, our morales, our way of life is in decline...
Sergio Baptista September 13, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I remember years ago when I used to go to seaside with my friends... We would jump in my 1985 Eldorado and cruise the streets ... We would all chip in and rent a house for the summer and basically do pretty much what these guys and girls did.... There's a difference we did it and paid out of our ass for the house .. Food ... Beer ... And so on... These kids did it and got paid 40k every episode ... God bless them ... I don't have anything bad to say about them ..... For all of the people that posted negative things about this kids I have one question for you ... What did you do af there age ? Hang at a library ?
tracy September 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Haha exactly. The people who are complaining that the cast is so horrible are the same ones who are A) either doing the same thing every friday night, or B) have kids who do the same thing every friday night. Then I hear people say it's turning their kids to bad things.... Well to the people who say that... The cast members aren't the fault of the lack of parenting you instilled into your children. I live 10 minutes away from Seaside Heights, and I honestly haven't seen anything change (besides them putting SeaSide on the air, big whoop).
David Daur September 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM
How should we look at this; 1) A Bar and Restaurant is being punished for someone on a "reality" TV show following a "script" for ratings ..... or....... 2) Spicy is paying 15,000 dollars for this advertising because nowadays even bad publicity is good publicity!
mike September 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I don't see any problem here. Back in the 80's I'd get drunk at Baby-O's and drive into a tree. Not much difference these days.
Joseph Woolston Brick September 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
The kids are emulating the shows cast at both Point and Seaside, Both towns are human zoos.
2much2say September 14, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Tracy-FYI I don't do A, B don't have kids I made a statement not a complaint & haven't been to sleaze side since 2003 scum walking boards and gangbangers robbing stores and police runnig down the boards saying "stop or I'll shoot" during the day while im trying to enjoy lunch, yeah it hasn't changed a bit I'm sure.
billyp September 14, 2012 at 01:39 AM
I don't feel bad for the restaurant....they will make double the fine off the publicity. I do however think this girl got off too easy. The kids on that show have broken laws over and over and only get a slap on the wrist. Must be nice to be on a tv show and be allowed to break the law whenever the mood strikes you.
So Much to Say September 14, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Sergio Baptista September 14, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Billy let's be honest how many times have you broke the law and got away with it ? And your not even on TV .. I know I have broken the law so many times and gotten away with it .. And there was times when I got a slap on wrist .. ... Let's see the girl got off to easy for getting drunk and dancing in the street ... She's banned for 2 years ... Hmmmm REAL People get drunk jump in a car Put your family and my family in danger and get there license suspended for 6 months ... Thank god there hard on them ...Have you ever gotten drunk Billy ? I did so drunk I didn't know how to get home , it's what drinking does .... We all had our moments ... Those kids follow a script ... And they get paid very well for it ... If MTV wants to give me 40k a episode I will get drunk and dance in front of the police station for them.. And so would you ...
concerned citizen September 14, 2012 at 04:40 AM
i always tell my sons that if they did a reality show on real jersey shore kids like them it would not be watched-the surfers, longboarders, and athletes, musicians, etc.. that is the real jersey shore kids/young adults. very sad that the show (whose cast are not even from jersey) gives jersey a bad name. never watched it-glad it is cancelled
2much2say September 14, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Seamus O'Malley September 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Sergio, you are what's wrong with all of this, I for one would NOT get drunk and dance in front of the police station or anywhere for that matter Even for 40k an episode. My integrity and moral fortitude are worth more than that. I guess some of us won't whore ourselves out, sorry to disappoint you.
TimeForChange September 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Are you proud to tell people that?
NJglitter September 14, 2012 at 01:07 PM
he's still drinking
billyp September 14, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Sergio....its scary that you think all of this is normal. To answer your question....no, I have never broken the law. I do drink, but alcohol itself is not illegal. It is what people do while drunk that becomes illegal. I DO think she got off easy for being drunk and acting like an idiot in public. I also think people who drive drunk, as you brought up, should lose their license for LIFE. I don't believe in chalking a dui off as a mistake and giving second, third, fourth chances. Why give a drunk driver extra chances to kill someone? To me, driving drunk is on par with attempted murder.
Matt September 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Maybe if they had changed the title to "Guidos and Skanks Ruining the Jersey Shore" people wouldn't be so pissed about it. We all know real life is boring so that is why these clowns are scripted to do the ridiculous things they do for ratings. When people see what these clowns get away with, they think it's ok. And for the people that seem to think that nothing has changed since the morons came to town you are partly right. Sleezeside has been on a steady decline years before these douches came to town, but even Point is turning into Point Not So Pleasant. Let the hater comments begin...
KingNeptune September 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I have news for you, people have been acting like this long before "Jersey Shore" even began.
smrh September 14, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Truthfully who cares!! The chick is a reject and so is most of the cast of that horrible show!! If they didn't give her drinks she would have went some where else or caused a problem which would have brought the cops anyway! And when don't you see someone drunk dancing or walking down the street in seaside stopping the flow of traffic?? It's kind of a normal thing!!! It's seaside!!
Beach_N8iv September 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM
MrCommon, not to the extent we see today. Not even close.
Joan September 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM
MrCommonSense....Sorry, I have to disagree with you... There is a big difference how some kids act today compared to how they once acted before JS.
Joan September 16, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Concerned citizen, I agree.. there is a lot of good kids with a lot of talent that has been over shadowed by these idiots that at one time never lived here. Do you see where these JS stars are living now...far from Seaside and Point.
Joe Stewart September 17, 2012 at 01:08 PM
What a bunch of BS. I would say that at least 10 people a weekend stumble out of that bar drunk. At least she wasn't in a car like the other ones! So she danced in the street, big deal. Can't anyone have a little bit of fun anymore. She didn't hurt anyone, she only made a spectacle of herself. Its OK for cops and firemen to go to Wildwood every year and get completely plastered and act like idiots though. Seaside cops 10 minutes of fame!
Michael Gillick September 18, 2012 at 08:32 PM
A little bit of fun? This is why America is screwed. Because this generation of kids are pretty much retarded. Brought up on Hannah Montana and all the other shows that promote how to dress like a skank and talk back to your parents without being punished. And the parents are just as bad for not taking the time to be PARENTS and instead trying to be the kids FRIENDS. Your kids have friends already they don't need more they need a mother and father to tell them when they are acting like skanks gorillas and tools.
Kay September 20, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Only thing I'm waiting for is, where is there a good Mexican restaurant in Brick?
NJPOWERCERT September 20, 2012 at 01:01 AM
The good old days.
NJPOWERCERT September 20, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Your probably fat
mjmjr October 05, 2012 at 06:27 AM


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something