A boutique style bar and restaurant is to open in the Jewellery Quarter following the £2 million restoration of the derelict two-storey basement of Birmingham's oldest known workhouse.

The neglected cellar at Grade II listed Newhall Place will be transformed into The Vaults under the direction of Birmingham-based entrepreneurs Russell Townsend and Julian Brown.

The conversion of the 7,000 sq ft basement will create a new top-end leisure destination for the city, set for launch in October.

Featuring exposed brickwork throughout with vaulted ceilings, The Vaults will seat 60-70 diners in the main restaurant and in three private dining booths.

Russell, who owns Birmingham design agency, Clusta, said: "Julian and I have searched for years for a venue that would offer something really different. When we saw this building and its potential, we knew that we'd found it.

"Both of us are passionate about food as well as our home city and think that The Vaults will offer Birmingham a truly unique place to drink and eat out.

"It will feel comfy and private without being pretentious and will retain its stunning architecture, contrasting the Victorian brickwork with a contemporary bohemian interior."

While the upper floors of the Newhall Place site, which dates from 1860, have been converted into office and residential units, the basement has been left derelict for many decades due to the unsuitability of the narrow street level entry point.

However, a new entrance has been created from the adjacent new development site, allowing for the construction of the niche bar and restaurant.

The Vaults will offer up-market grilled dishes with their emphasis on fresh, local and seasonal produce as well as an extensive collection of wines, including leading champagnes, bottled beers, premium vodkas and cocktails.

The menu is being developed by Julian, a national food consultant who has been a chef for 20 years. Julian, who trained at The Birmingham College of Food, previously owned Denial restaurant until 2003.