Wolverhampton's former music venue Little Civic is to be brought back to life, it was announced today.
Owners have confirmed that the lease on the North Street building has been taken up by a licensed trader, Olimax UK Ltd.
The popular spot stopped hosting gigs in June, when Wolverhampton City Council's lease came to an end after a decade.
But now it is hoped music and drinking will return to the landmark building. It is owned by Warrington-based firm Route Organisation.
The company's regional director John Axon confirmed that Olimax had taken up a long-term lease on the premises but declined to comment further.
No-one from Olimax was available for comment today. Rumours of the closure had circulated among musicians who regularly played at the venue, before it was confirmed by Wolverhampton City Council this summer. It initially opened to provide a box office facility while the Civic Hall under went renovation work.
The venue is well-known for helping to launch the careers of many now famous bands, including Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys. The final gig was headlined by Mark Morriss of The Bluetones.
The North Street building has gone under many guises over the years, and was one of the country's first Berni Inns – famous for its grill steaks.
Earlier this month, the city council announced that the closed music venue and bar is to reopen at another city centre venue at the end of next month.
It has been relocated to the C4 nightclub in Broad Street and is set to open on October 27. The decision was taken in private by council chiefs.
Bosses hope the move will contribute to the regeneration of the crime-ridden street. Problems with access for disabled people were cited as one of the reasons for closing the original venue, as well as fire chiefs cutting capacity. Smaller gigs are currently being held in the Civic Hall Bar.
It was also feared that up to 20 major shows a year – bringing in about £170,000 – may be lost if the link with the larger Civic and Wulfrun halls was severed. The relaunched venue will open until 1am weekdays, and until 3am on Friday and Saturday.