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South Norwalk Bar Closed After 100-Plus Busted For Underage Drinking

Johnny Utah's is known for its signature mechanical bull.
Johnny Utah's is known for its signature mechanical bull. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

The riding bull is quiet at Johnny Utah's in South Norwalk after the state pulled its license on Friday just hours after police nabbed more than 100 underage people inside the popular Washington Street bar.

The Department of Consumer Protection said in a statement that the bar would remain closed until further notice.

"At DCP, we do everything we can within our jurisdiction to keep the public safe, and that means making it clear that businesses in the state must abide by the law," said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. "Serving alcohol to minors is a serious offense that is not taken lightly. We want to thank our partners at the Norwalk Department of Police Service for working closely with us on this matter."

The bust took place around 11:30 p.m. Thursday when the Norwalk Police Special Services Division and agents from the Connecticut Liquor Control Commission conducted liquor compliance checks within the city, police said.

According to police, when officers arrived, they found 103 underage people in the bar, including 93 that were Fairfield University students.

“We are pleased that the Department of Consumer Protection suspended Johnny Utah’s liquor permit,” said Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik. “Having such a large number of very impressionable and vulnerable young people consuming alcohol is a concern for everyone. Permittees need to demonstrate they have an understanding of their responsibilities.”

No Fairfield University students were arrested. At the time of the incident, the university sent a bus to transport the students back to campus.

Johnny Utah's opened in Norwalk in 2014, taking over the spot at 80 Washington St. that had been occupied by Black Bear Saloon. Known for its signature mechanical bull, it became the third Johnny Utah's location, joining the first two in New York and Philadelphia.

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