Birmingham city centre is to get another top quality restaurant - headed up by businesswoman Ann Tonks.

Opus is due to open in July on the lower ground floor of 134 Edmund Street - Chase Midland and Countrywide's recently completed office development in the heart of the business quarter.

Mrs Tonks is a former boss of the Bank restaurant chain and was the major force behind its Brindleyplace outlet.

Now she has brought together her Bank team to run the new venue.

It will accommodate up to 175 people and include a private dining area capable of seating up to 50. With its entrance on Cornwall Street, it totals 7,000 sq ft on one floor and incorporates a crustacean bar as its centrepiece.

It represents a £1 million investment by the five-strong management team and around ten Midlands business executives.

The five, all ex-Bank, are Mrs Tonks, who will be managing director, David Colcombe, executive chef, Irene Allan, restaurant manager, Dean Cole, head chef, and Sally Guy, events manager in charge of the private dining room.

Mrs Tonks, an American who is married to Pinsent Mason senior partner Julian Tonks, left Bank in Christmas 2003 after four and a half years to care for her father in the US.

But with his health rapidly improving she got the itch to get back into the restaurant business.

She said: "I wanted to work with the team again and they felt that after five years at Bank it was time to move on.

"It is an opportunity for them to establish their own restaurant. We are all making a dream come true."

The restaurant is aiming at the same sort of clientele as at Bank but Mrs Tonks insists: "There is definitely room in the market for both."

Opus is looking to get custom from the business, exhibitions, leisure and city living markets. "It is time we had a greater depth of quality restaurants in the city centre," said Mrs Tonks.

And she denies it is going up against nearby Metro as a destination pub, and will rather concentrate on the food side with an emphasis on local produce.

Mrs Tonks said: "At Opus we are really serious about food and our core focus will be on seasonality. We are not prepared to compromise on quality and are keen to work with local suppliers."

Prices are likely to be about £25 per head for lunch including service charges and VAT and £32 for dinner.

With an estimated value in excess of £35 million, 134 Edmund Street - a Chase Midland/Countrywide joint venture, funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland - was developed to address the shortage of Grade A office space in the city centre and is already receiving strong interest in the remaining floors.

Tim Haslam, managing director, Chase Commercial, said: "It is no secret that over the past few years Birmingham has developed into one of the most important business locations and shopping destinations in Europe; yet very few restaurants exist to cater for this new and growing market.

"Comprising around 84,000 sq ft of office accommodation, 134 Edmund Street benefits from excellent transport links and is situated close to the city's shopping district. It therefore seemed logical to us to introduce a restaurant like Opus here which complements the surrounding marketplace perfectly."

GVA Grimley and Knight Frank represented Chase Midland, while CBRE acted for the restaurant.