A South Tyneside businessman plans to invest £500,000 in one of his most successful pubs.
Premier Leisure boss Tony Singh wants to convert the mainly disused ground floor of The Maltings in South Shields, and an outside area, into a separate bar.
A section which housed a former micro-brewery and has a car park and loading bay would be transformed into a contemporary drinking venue.
The Maltings sits on the first floor of the Claypath Lane property, opposite the town hall, above the proposed development site.
Mr Singh bought the pub almost two years ago and has maintained its success based on a traditional olde-worlde feel and style.
But he plans to challenge that stereotype by developing a fresh and more modern offering directly below.
If the project is approved by council planners, the new venue’s features would include an outside terraced area.
Project designer Gerard McElvenny, of Sunderland-based Studio One Design, said exploratory works had already taken place to guarantee the site’s suitability.
He added: “The ground floor is mainly disused and has a lot of potential to operate as a bar.
“It will not in any way detract from The Maltings as it is today, rather it will complement the existing business.
“But it will have an entirely different feel by being a lot more contemporary with none of the traditional feel of The Maltings.
“The micro-brewery is no longer there and there is only really a cellar downstairs. The rest is not used.
“This will be a significant investment in South Shields and will also create jobs. It is a very nice offer.
“If planning permission is approved, we would hope to have the new bar open by Christmas.”
Existing Maltings tenant Glen Winlow is expected to run both outlets.
If approved, it will operate from 5pm to 1am between Monday and Friday, noon to 2am on Saturdays and noon to midnight on Sundays and bank holidays.
The potential Maltings investment follows Premier Leisure’s £725,000 renovation of The Sundial pub at South Shields seafront earlier this year.
Premier Leisure, which is based in Dean Road, South Shields, owns several other venues including the Hedworth Hall and Armstrong Hall.