A NEW 'up market bar' is to open in Worcester this month after a major refurbishment.

Francesca's in the Corn Market is to have its official opening at 6pm on Friday, November 22 but the aim is to open for business on Tuesday, November 19.

The opening on November 22 will include promotions, a disco and a solo performance by Chalky Martin who will also perform with a band 5:15's on December 21.

Formerly called the Maltster and Bar 12, the venue is undergoing refurbishment ready for the opening.

Francesca's will feature a smart bar and a separate cocktail and gin bar. A VIP section can be booked for private parties and corporate events say manager Megan Calvert and owner by Nick Smith.

Mr Smith said he hoped to return the pub to the success it enjoyed during its heyday when it was the Slug and Lettuce and that it would prove a popular venue in the city.

The bar is being redecorated and renovated by Ace of Hearts, run by John Spencer. The bar's owner, Mr Smith, said the work had already served to brighten up and open up the interior for customers.

He said: "It's not dark or dingy anymore."

Manager Miss Calvert said the bar, which so far employs eight people, would offer 'high end cocktails' and hoped it would be popular as a pre-drinks and party venue. Servers will provide table service for shots and certain drinks.

The aim is to have a live band or singer performing every Saturday night and to host speed dating and quiz nights.

Miss Calvert said: "We're looking to hold different events that are not available elsewhere in Worcester."