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Anthropologie / serving unlabeled alcoholic beverages to public

Al Dec 30, 2015

We have lived in Hoboken for six months. A couple months ago mother in law was visiting us in Hoboken on Sunday August 23rd is when the incident took place. It was 82 degrees in Hoboken and as I walked around Anthropologie with my husband and his mother we came across a large jug of what everyone, including us assumed was iced tea with tray a various pastries. There was no label on on the self serve beverage dispenser or the food, nor was there any hostess of any kind during the entire time I was in the store there was never someone monitoring the food and beverage setup. My first thought was how nice that was of them to serve refreshments to the public on a hot afternoon. I didn't take anything and continued looking around on the first floor. My opinion of the refreshments quickly changed when my panicked husband came rushing over to me asking for the water in my bag informing me his mother just had taken a few large gulps of the "iced-tea" and was more than distraught as she immediately felt alcohol in her system. My husband's mother is the sweetest woman in the world and it was heartbreaking to watch her fight the tears welling up in her eyes as she explained politely to the very rude sales employee that the reason they should put a sign up listing the ingredients of the serve yourself refreshment was because she is a recovering alcoholic, sober without a sip of alcohol for 2 years until last Sunday. The girl dismissed my mother in law with a disgusting judgemental attitude and I was infuriated. I immediately went up to speak to someone at the front perhaps a manager or someone with a heart and any hint of a moral compass. The magnitude of rudeness and patronizing looks I received was overwhelming. It was almost as if they were insinuating I did something wrong by bringing this to their attention. No apologies were given, no sympathy, understanding or common decency. The girl did not even make eye contact with me but said quietly she would tell her manager. When we left 40 minutes later there was a small, cardboard sign with small writing in pen that said PEACH MANGO BELLINI (with champagne) in smaller print in parentheses. I hope everyone can read the flimsy, informal sign that wasn't even taped, just leaning against the jug containing the drink. To preface the story my mother in law was visiting from Canada for her birthday and we were at Anthropology specifically to buy her a birthday present. This was the worst birthday present I could have ever imagined. However, my mother in law is strong and she wanted to overcome this and not make a bigger scene than we had already so we continued to shop and as we did I got to thinking of all the people who had this drink before 2 PM and no wonder the young girls getting refills were giggling when we entered the store. They were drinking free alcohol and didn't have to show ID!! No one was monitoring who helped themselves to as many glasses of what we found out was not the refreshing iced tea with floating raspberries but peach mango bellinis with champagne in them. I have been thinking long and hard and doing research on the laws in New Jersey. I promise you I will be looking for an appropriate lawyer this week because I don't want someone to get hurt and it's not appropriate for minors to be served alcohol. The situation was handled so dismissively by your employees at this location. Its against the law to have a self serve beverage dispenser that is not clearly labeled with its contents. Not to mention if you are going to have alcoholic beverages in a self serve beverage dispenser is it appropriate to leave it unattended? If you are going to serve alcoholic beverages in your store they should be monitored and every ingredient should be labeled clearly (not everyone knows what a bellini is, especially children) and the sign should be directly taped or fastened on the beverage dispenser. The little flimsy cardboard sign that was eventually placed leaning against the glass dispenser which could easily be knocked over or blown away. They should probably label the food too considering the amount of people who have food allergies. I am disgusted with the situation. Their store likely served alcohol to more than one minor that day. Exactly one week later I called the store asking if they were serving a beverage on Sunday and she said they weren't but they do serve beverages frequently. I then was curious as to the exact ingredients in the beverage and so I said I was having a party and wanted to have the Bellinis could they please email me the ingredients. I was shocked to find out there was 6 bottles of champagne in the recipe. At that point I did feel compelled to contact a lawyer to ensure the safety of the public. I sent an email and after four or five days have received an apology from a supervisor of some kind and they offered us gift cards which I found almost insulting at the time. What is an appropriate gift card amount for my mother in laws emotional distress?

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