BOURNEMOUTH cocktail bar, lounge and restaurant 1812 has finally reopened its doors following an extensive, refurbishment.

The six-month long project has seen an extension added to the bar area opening up the space for more booths, dancing and cocktails, as well a new wrap around balcony for al-fresco dining and drinking.

Both the formal dining area and evening menu have been transformed to offer a more relaxed dining experience with new small plate dishes and sharing platters.

Previously 1812 had a separate rather formal restaurant, but now the focus is on more casual dining throughout the venue.

You can now eat at the bar or in the booths, as well as in an open plan designated dining area. The drinks menu also sees some new signature cocktails alongside old favourites.

More than 300 guests were invited to the exclusive relaunch party on Friday, November 8.

Owner Harry Brewer said he was delighted to be open for business once more.

The bar closed for its refit just after Easter in April.

“When 1812 first opened in 2005, it was probably the first place in town to offer live music every Friday and Saturday,” said Harry.

“We now have almost twice the capacity we had before (it can now cater for up to 700 people) which means we can attract bigger and better acts, although I’m not one for over-filling a venue because it puts too much pressure on the bar area and people can’t get served.

“We want people to enjoy entertainment within a comfortable, intimate environment.”

The ladies loos have been relocated to the back of the building and have been decorated in an art deco style and adorned with large mirrors and GHD hair straighteners.

Harry said he wanted to bring everything you need for a good evening under one roof. “It’s an historic building so we wanted the new design to be in keeping with its heritage.”

He added: “The next stage is to develop the area downstairs into function rooms and maybe space for more acts as part of our on-going commitment to the site.”