A FORMER assistant bar manager and DJ has turned licensee and is reopening a Darlington town centre venue under its former name.

No 10 Crown Street, which was most recently known as Aspire, is opening on Thursday (April 17).

Carl Williams, 24 from Darlington has setup Williams Leisure Ltd, with his father, John.

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The Crown Street bar, which was once former furniture store and a gallery has undergone significant refurbishment over the last few weeks and will host a range of live music events as well as serving food.

Carl Williams said: "I have always wanted to run my own pub so when the chance arose and with me being a former bar manager here, it seemed the perfect opportunity.

"It will be run as a family business and as we are all very passionate about the town, we will be working alongside a number of local suppliers.

"We are also hoping that, when Darlington Football Club returns to Darlington, we can put on transport from our venue to Blackwell Meadows for home games."

Carl’s father, John Williams added: "We can see a great opportunity for a friendly, lively venue in Darlington and want to make the business a real success.

"We also intend to take on a further five members of staff over the coming months bringing the total up to ten."