Manchester's newest late-night bar and gig venue is taking shape in the city centre, preparing to open for the first time when lockdown eases.

The Blues Kitchen will bring a taste of the Deep South with blues music, a menu of barbecue food and a bar packed with bourbons.

Taking over the old Walkabout site on Quay Street, this will be the bar's largest site to date and is planning to open shortly after England reaches step three of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Inside the two-storey venue will be a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, with a concert hall upstairs and a programme of live events seven nights a week.

It joins a corner of Manchester that has quickly grown into a late-night hotspot, with neighbours including Albert's Schloss, Manahatta, Impossible and Dirty Martini.

Stained glass windows at the new Blues Kitchen site

Already well-established on London's nightlife scene with three sites across the capital, The Blues Kitchen will have to open with a scaled-back offering in Manchester to begin with.

The venue's planned club nights and standing gigs will be on hold until at least June 21 (or step four of the roadmap), with seated entertainment experiences taking their place in the meantime.

The huge site used to be home to a Victorian eye hospital and many original features are being carefully restored.

The team behind the venue will also draw inspiration from the USA, particularly the southern states of Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Other parts of the decor have a blues heritage, from a stained glass window salvaged from Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey where Woody Guthrie once resided, to a gospel roof made with reclaimed 19th century tin plates from a derelict church in Manhattan.

Guests will be able to book private parties inside a 1920s Air Stream Caravan too.

Burgers join mac and cheese, ribs and wings on the soul food menu

American soul food such as mac and cheese, buffalo hot wings, smoky ribs and burgers will be served alongside a menu of more than 8 bourbons.

The restaurant and bar area will be open all day for brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert.

The live music programme, running seven days a week, will take in everything from 1930s Delta blues, funk, acoustic, rock n roll, roots and southern soul music.

The upstairs concert hall will have space for 500 guests when it's allowed to reopen fully, and will host international headliners, in-house gigs and club nights.

Steve Ball, CEO of The Columbo Group, which owns Blues Kitchen, said: "We've been looking for the perfect site in Manchester for years and have finally found it.

"We've taken a great deal of pleasure in restoring the building over the past year, and we’ve managed to get hold of some incredible vintage features from The States so it’s really going to be quite something.

"We’re really excited to reveal it all soon along with our entertainment programme once restrictions have lifted."