Virginia Woman Accused of Running Cantina Out of Her Home

After wild complaints from one community, alcohol officials made an unusual bust in northern Virginia.

A Falls Church-area woman faces several charges relating to operating a bar and restaurant out of her home on Westmoreland Road, a quiet street in a bedroom community.

On weekends, one home turns into a cantina, selling food and beer to customers from all over, according to neighbors. Neighbors complained sometimes 20-30 customers would be there and sometimes the customers would stay until 4 a.m., according to the affidavit. The front yard would fill with cars.

During the investigation, an undercover agent bought two meals to go for $23 and a six pack of Corona for $12, according to court documents.

Fairfax police and agents with Alcoholic Beverage Control, code and compliance, and the Health Department raided the home Sunday. The living room had two banquet-style folding tables for dining in, according to ABC, and a dozen customers were in the home. Authorities seized 62 sealed bottles of Corona, 198 Styrofoam to go boxes, 533 white Styrofoam cups and 320 carryout bags from the house.

Authorities arrested 44-year-old Ruth Zarita and charged her with two counts of selling alcoholic beverages without a license and one count of maintaining, aiding, abetting or knowingly associating with others in maintaining a common nuisance, both misdemeanors punishable with up to 12 months incarceration and fines of up to $2,500.

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