A NEW bar is hoping to bring something different to its town centre.

BlackJack Seven, located on Blackwellgate in Darlington, opened on Monday March 4.

The venue is a coffee house by day and a rum and gin bar by night.

Paul McAlpine, from Darlington, who runs BlackJack Seven with his partner, said opening his own bar has been a lifelong dream.

He said: “I’ve wanted to have a bar for a long time. I was going to do one years ago with my brother and a friend but life kind of took over from then and we just never got round to it.

“I saw this building and kind of just decided that now was the time to do it and give it a go."

Mr McAlpine and his partner bought the building last November and have spent the last four months renovating the interior themselves.

Mr McAlpine said: “All of our bar tops are scaffolding boards which have been sanded and stained ourselves. Everything that you can see we’ve done, there was no ceiling here when we took it on.

“We also really wanted to use a lot of reclaimed furniture, like our Chesterfield which we bought locally from a couple in Richmond and had a bit of restoration done on it.

"Upstairs we’ve got a set of 737 800 Boeing seats. They still work and still recline.

“We’re the only rum bar currently and we’re going to play on that as much as we can. We have our own gin range and we're looking at having our own branded rum eventually.

“We just want to be different and quirky. There’s nowhere else around here that’s got a bright blue sofa when you come in."

As well as bringing something new to the town, Mr McAlpine and his partner want to use their business to support local people.

They are currently displaying and selling the work of local artist Mike Pallister and want to support other local artists.

Mr McAlpine has also set up a hot drinks board, where customers can pay for an extra coffee and pass it on to the next customer for free.

He added: "It's kind of an encouragement for less fortunate people to come in and get a hot drink for free.

"It's something we haven't seen in this town before and it would be nice if we could encourage all the other places to do the same thing."

More information can be found at facebook.com/blackjackseven