A LUXURY designer retailer is opening a new store in a former restaurant in Durham city centre.

Fashion business Psyche, which has two stores in Middlesbrough, is planning to open in the former Café Rouge building in Silver Street.

The building, next to Framwelgate Bridge, has been empty since August when Café Rouge and Bella Italia, which was underneath, closed their doors.

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Psyche, which opened in 1982 and is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month, describes itself as a “world leading concept store” and as a place where people can indulge in accessible designer fashion.

It is understood the company plans to open in Durham later this autumn but details have not yet been released about the new store or how many jobs will be created.

A spokeswoman for the company said further details of the store opening would be released next week.

According to the company’s website, Psyche has a selection of more than 300 brands and designers from all over the world, including the likes of Armani, Paul Smith, Moncler, Dries Van Noten and Aquascutum.

It has won a string of awards, including Drapers Fashion Awards on two separate occasions, FHM magazine’s Retailer of the Year, GQ Magazine’s best menswear shop and runner up to Harrods in department store of the year 2012.

The aspirational store attracts shoppers from Newcastle to York, competes with Harvey Nichols in Leeds, and claims it has attracted online sales from every country across the globe except North Korea.

The department stores in Middlesbrough cater for men and women’s fashion, as well as selling designer children’s clothes.

Plans have been submitted to Durham County Council to make minor alterations to the building, for new signs and for a change of use to allow the building to be used for retail instead of as a restaurant.

The changes will include new doors and replacing some of the brickwork with a white monocouche render

The building had been used as a restaurant for around a decade and had previously been occupied by a number of businesses including a children’s outfitters in the 1960s.

Both Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia are owned by the Casual Dining Group, which did not renew their lease on the building when it came to an end this year.

Psyche opened its second store in 2014.