A FORMER restaurant in a historic part of the city could become a live music venue under new plans.

Café Rouge in Friar Street closed down in 2020 and has been empty ever since.

A notice has gone up in the window for an application to change the licensing of the premises.

A plan to convert it into homes is still being considered by Worcester City Council, with the ground floor supposed to remain as a business.

This application would allow for the extension of business hours from Monday to Sunday, 10am until 1am.

"Piano Lounge" would also have a licence for both live and recorded music.

The status of the application is currently unknown with the apartments plan for the site currently still active on the Worcester City Council planning website.

Worcester News: NOTICE: The planning notice at Café Rouge in WorcesterNOTICE: The planning notice at Café Rouge in Worcester

Workmen could be seen in recent weeks painting the frontage of the building and covering the windows with whitewash ready for the next stages of the building's future.

The building's facade is now an olive green colour, changed from the red of Cafe Rouge.

The applicant is listed on the site notice as Friar Street Investments Ltd.

Last year, plans for apartments at Cafe Rouge were submitted which would turn it into three flats and a six-room house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The ground floor and part of the first floor of the Grade II listed building would remain open for commercial use and be replaced with a new shop, restaurant or cafe.

Worcester News: CLOSED: Cafe Rouge in WorcesterCLOSED: Cafe Rouge in Worcester

The studio flats would measure between 30 and 33 square metres each with the two HMOs each measuring 74 and 78 square metres.

Cafe Rouge closed down in 2020 after parent company Casual Dining Group, the owner of Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas, said it would close 91 of its 250 restaurants.

A statement included with the application said: “The proposed development makes use of the existing internal layout with minimal structural alterations.

“Otherwise, the external appearance and character of the building will remain unchanged.

“The proposed design creates mixed-use repurposing of the empty commercial premises bringing 24-hour commercial and residential life to the historic city conservation area as well as safeguarding the heritage asset for the future."