Nearly 2 dozen Bloomington minors arrested for underage drinking at Third Street restaurants

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A party full of underage drinkers at a Japanese restaurant in Bloomington ended badly for its guests this weekend, police said.

Indiana State Excise Police officials said at roughly 10:30 p.m. Friday, officers headed to Ami at 1500 E. Third St. after a complaint that signaled the restaurant was selling alcohol to minors.

Police said they found a group of minors in the two private party rooms upstairs at Ami who were drinking. All 18 minors were arrested for illegal consumption of alcohol.

Furthermore, police said Ami was preliminarily charged with furnishing alcohol to minors, unlicensed employees and failing to maintain records of employee permits.

Investigators said this is the second time in roughly four months that Ami has violated excise laws. Officers filed a violation against Ami Aug. 2. Police said the restaurant was charged after selling alcohol to an 18-year-old during an alcohol-compliance check. Ami was also cited for a happy hour/reduced prices violation, failure to display permit, unlicensed employees and failing to maintain records of employee permits.

IU student Jessica Feczko told RTV6 that Ami is a popular restaurant for students, noting that it offers "sake bombing" -- cocktails made by dropping a shot of sake into a glass of beer.

Excise police said officers also cited Steve’s Trading Post, also on Third Street, for allowing a minor to loiter, and for sale of alcohol to a minor after they found three underage patrons. Officers cited two of the minors for illegal consumption of alcohol, but police said the third gave them a bit more trouble.

At nearby Nick's English Hut, managers say they've developed a tough carding and stamping system designed to keep minors out.

"I think we have a pretty tough reputation for keeping underage people out," said Rick McClung. "I'm sure people slip by, but it'd be very difficult to get in."

One of the minors arrested, Taiveon T. Taylor, 19, of Bloomington, was charged with loitering in a tavern, illegal consumption of alcohol, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct and intimidation. Officers said they also found Taylor had an active arrest warrant for probation violation.

Excise police said they will recommend that the Alcohol and Trade Commission revoke Ami's license to sell alcohol.

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