An open air rooftop bar is to open in Birmingham’s Chinatown as part of a new Chinese and Japanese food court.
A three-storey former office block in Pershore Street is being converted to create a ground floor bistro, provisionally called Ruga.
There will also be two new food courts on the first and second floors called Asia Asia.
The courts will have 10 units between them and offer authentic pan-Asian street food style catering.
The rooftop bar will take advantage of the building’s existing flat roof and help the colourful Southside district to expand towards the Bullring.
As well as extending Chinatown towards the giant shopping centre, Asia Asia will also be yards away from Birmingham’s famous indoor food market.
Min Zhou, spokeswoman for the project, said the idea behind the development was to offer wholly authentic food from China and other Asian countries including Vietnam, Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
She added: “The idea is for the food courts to share what we have back home with added new twists.
“The food on offer will be not just from China but other countries, too – and it will show how the food can differ between southern China and northern China.
“The food halls will be somewhere that people can go to eat from 10am to 10pm – or you can take away the food – and there will be open kitchens so that customers can see what the chefs are making.
“The rooftop bar will have capacity for about 70 people and I think it will be the first one in Chinatown.”
The idea to have ten units at Asia Asia will give Birmingham the chance to develop the next Ken Hom.
Potential food superstars of the future will have the opportunity to establish a foothold in business given the cost of opening a fully-fledged restaurant or even a stand-alone takeaway.
Ms Zhou added: “We hope to attract some people who have real talent but who might be struggling, so they can have the opportunity of running their own business without having to find a large amount of money first.
“All of the tenants will only need to make a relatively small investment because a lot of services such as cleaning and security will be included.
“This will enable them to concentrate on making the freshest meals possible.
“We think there is only one other development quite like this in the country, and that is in London.”
Taiwei Li, who is helping to develop Ruga Bistro on the ground floor, added: “We will have around 70 covers and hope to open in time for the Chinese New Year with a menu based around Asian fusion food.”