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Deputies arrest 13 at party in closed Dexter hotel, bar

DEXTER — The Windmill Bar and Grill was doing a brisk business Saturday night — especially for a bar that's been closed for three months.

Despite the fact that the establishment at Interstate 90 and Minnesota Highway 16 near Dexter has neither a liquor license nor an innkeeper's license, it was business as usual when Mower County sheriff's deputies arrived about 8:30 p.m.

"We'd received information that there'd be a large party there," said Sheriff Terese Amazi.

News of the gathering apparently spread on social networking sites such as Facebook.

After confirming the lack of proper licensure with the city of Dexter, deputies descended on the bar and arrested 13 people, citing the majority of them for underage drinking.


"The bartenders said they'd been checking IDs, then got too busy and started serving everyone," said Amazi.

The two bartenders were among the 13 arrested.

There were about 50 people inside the bar when officers arrived, Amazi said. Bartenders were pouring drinks and charging for them; hotel rooms were allegedly being rented at a cost of $30 a night.

A live band had been scheduled to perform later in the evening.

Deputies continued to turn people away who arrived at the Windmill, Amazi said. It took about two hours to clear and secure the scene.

What exactly went on — and has allegedly been going on for a few weeks — is unclear, she said.

"They had the keys to the building," Amazi said, and there was no sign of forced entry.

The owner, however, has said he didn't have knowledge of any activity in the building.


People in town knew the "closed" bar was conducting business but didn't know what to do about it, said a businessman in Dexter, who asked that he not be identified.

The most recent liquor license granted by the state expired Oct. 31, 2010, said Jim Arlt, interim director of the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

It was issued to Windmill Event LLC, doing business as the Windmill Bar and Grill; the license officers were identified as Brent Quam and Timonthy Esser.

A check of the Minnesota Department of Revenue's tax delinquency listings for January reveals the Windmill Bar and Grill is also delinquent in the payment of its taxes. A spot on that list means no wholesaler, manufacturer or brewer may sell or deliver any product to the business named.

"There's still a lot of work to be done on this," said Amazi on Monday

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