THE Rabbit Hole Bar & Club has now opened its doors in the heart of Bradford city centre.

Work began in October last year to bring a new lease of life to the former Perfect Home unit in the Kirkgate Shopping Centre.

The space, on the corner of Westgate and Godwin Street, had been empty for a year, but has now been given a completely new look.

The need for the Kirkgate Shopping Centre to diversify its offering was laid bare last year.

A planning application submitted by the centre said it was facing a “number of challenges” and the change of use would help the unit make a more “meaningful contribution to the vitality and viability of the city centre”.

Now eight months on, the space is filled and open for business.

It officially launched last Thursday, marking a new spot for the city.

It’s the brainchild of Jason Avgousti, who owned Bentley’s Live Lounge on Westgate.

The bar opened a week later than expected due to plumbing problems, but Mr Avgousti said the opening had gone well.

“We got a good reception,” he said. “Bradford was quiet, but we were quite busy, so that’s good. Everything went really smoothly.

“For me, it’s kind of breaking the mould a little bit.

“I think you have to do, because there’s no point having the same things over and over again, because you’re not attracting new people back to Bradford.

“In the majority, people really liked it.”

While the bar is open, Mr Avgousti said there are still some finishing touches to make and he has plans for the upper levels of the building, which has five floors.

“It’s still a work in progress. The amount of floors we’ve got, it’ll take time.”

Plans for the upper levels include a VIP lounge and an American pool space.

“The main thing for me is, because I’m from Bradford and I remember the likes of Maestro’s, Dukes and Silks, Dollars and Dimes, Millionaires, people from all over would come to Bradford,” Mr Avgousti said.

“The whole point is trying create something where people can have a choice in Bradford. It’s not going to be for everybody, but it’s a choice for people to be able to say ‘you know what, let’s go to Rabbit Hole tonight, after we’ve been everywhere else’.”

The club is among a number of new openings in the city centre, including Al’s Juke Bar on Darley Street and the Drum Winder in the old Poundworld unit at the bottom of Ivegate.