Northampton bar will reopen after £300k upgrade

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A bar in Northampton’s Bridge Street will reopen next week with a new interior.

Managers of Panache closed it five weeks ago for a comprehensive upgrade and they will be open for business again on Friday under the new name of Shoko.

Instead of being a club, the style will be more like a bar and lounge with seven booths for between six and 12 people each.

Other upgrades include £20,000 spent on the toilets and £40,000 on a new sound system as well as new lighting, carpets and floors.

Co-owner Jon Stephens said: “We’ve owned Panache for five years and it was getting a bit tired. Everyone else around us has updated but we’ve not refurbished at all in that time.

“We want to calm things down a bit and move away from the club thing.

“We’re really a bit too small for that - our capacity is 190 - and can’t compete with NB’s or Balloon Bar, who can get five times that number.

“It will be a bit more relaxed with cocktails and craft beers and we’re spending a lot of money making it look good.”

Shoko - which is named after a Middle Eastern drink - will be open from 6pm to 4am seven days a week.