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Jersey Shore’s Deena Cortese Banned from Seaside’s Spicy Cantina, Bar Settles with ABC

Spicy Cantina & Mexican Grill in Seaside Heights has banned Jersey Shore cast member Deena Cortese and settled with the Division of Alcoholic and Beverage Control (ABC) over an incident involving the MTV starlet in June.

Dena Cortese
Deena Cortese (Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images)

As part of the settlement, Spicy Cantina was fined $15,000 and Deena Cortese will be banned from the bar for 2 years. The bar also faces a 10-day suspension of its license if they violate ABC’s laws in the next 2 years.

On June 10, Deena Cortese, 25, was arrested by the Seaside Heights police for disorderly conduct after she was caught on video tape, visibly intoxicated and dancing in the street on Ocean Terrace, hitting vehicles with her hands and restricting the flow of traffic.  Police say Deena Cortese was seen running from Spicy Cantina and onto Ocean Terrace and Sumner Avenue.

“This settlement is a cautionary tale for licensees who might think ignoring the law for the sake of airtime is good for business,” said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael 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.”

An ABC investigation revealed that Deena Cortese was at the bar for about 90 minutes that day, where she was seen walking on the bar, falling on the ground and standing on a red bench at a table full of random people.

Spicy Cantina admitted serving Deena Cortese drinks that she did not order, which is illegal, according to NJ Office of the Attorney General.

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

Four Spicy Cantina staff members submitted a letter to ABC saying that Deena Cortese was served one alcoholic drink, a vodka and club soda cocktail, before she was flagged. After cutting her off, the staff members say she was served non-alcoholic drink mix, several shots of water without realizing she was not being served alcohol.

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