Leisure Bar in danger of losing its license

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The City of Austin is moving forward with revoking one business owner’s liquor license.

Jim Fisher, owner of the non-operational Leisure Bar, formerly known as Trader’s Bar, 119 Third Ave. N.E., will be given notice his business must be up and running by June 30 or his street bar license will be revoked.

City clerk Lucy Johnson recommended to the city council Monday that no further extension be granted.

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Johnson said the bar was last open in October 2006. Although Fisher has renovated some of the interior, there are structural issues with the north and east exterior walls, said Craig Hoium, community development director.

Johnson and Hoium said several parties have shown interest in the business in the past year, but indicated the building would be too expensive to bring up to code.

“He is trying to sell the business, and thought it would look more attractive with a license,” explained council member Jeff Austin.

“I don’t see what the value is if the building can’t be opened,” Johnson said.

Fisher was granted a year-long extension in January.

The City of Austin allows the state-maximum of 18 street bar licenses; currently, 16 are in use, including Fisher’s. The number of restaurant/bar licenses is unlimited.

A new on-sale hard liquor and Sunday on-sale liquor license was granted Monday to El Patron Mexican Grill, LLC, owned by Jose Lopez and Rogelio Perez, 1906 Eighth St. N.W.

The business, located in the Super Center Place strip mall, is not yet open.