2006_10_bar.jpgThe owner of Lower East Side bar Barramundi has sued over the liquor license moratorium the State Liquor Authority enacted in Manhattan in September. The SLA has indefinitely halted new licenses for any establishments within 500 feet of other watering holes - and in the Lower East Side, it's like you can't trip without running into a place that serves a drink. Anthony Powe was given community board approval to take over the bar in the spring, so he closed on the 67 Clinton Street building - and took on a $4.15 million mortgage. The NY Sun reports that even four months after Powe applied for a license, the SLA hadn't done anything, so when the agency said no more licenses would be issued, Powe realized he might get screwed as his temporary licenses expired last month. That is a problem - we wonder if there are more establishments left in a lurch.

A judge approved a petition to keep Barramundi open until October 19. The SLA tells the Sun that they are going to contest the suit, but had no further comment.