A POPULAR pub will close today as work begins on a £1m plus revamp to turn it into an American-style smokehouse and barbecue restaurant.

The Pavilion in the Park pub, located in Tybridge Street, is set to be transformed into a Hickory’s Smokehouse, bringing the restaurant chain to the city and creating 80 jobs.

The major revamp will see the pub - which is adjacent to Cripplegate Park - completely transformed with every aspect of the venue being redesigned.

The restaurant will have a new open kitchen and chef’s bar, booth seating, a cinema room, along with dining areas for up 150 guests internally and more outside seating available.

The outside area will also undergo a makeover, with a sheltered veranda and outdoor seating, together with children’s area and table tennis zone and firepit.

Visitors are promised 'Southern Style' hospitality offering an experience reminiscent of barbecue restaurants in the Southern States of America.

Hickory’s Smokehouse owner Neil McDonnell said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be launching in the city and are really looking forward to meeting with local people and getting to know the community. Worcester has been on our ‘wish-list’ of locations for some time so we are delighted to have acquired a site so close to the city centre."

The menu includes Southern classics with wings, ribs and brisket, all smoked ‘low and slow’ for up to 16 hours.

It also offers breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes and Southern inspired desserts.

The team will also be looking to recruit about 80 new hospitality professionals, including chefs, servers, bar team and managers.

The new restaurant will open late summer.

Hickory's Smokehouse already have two other branches in the West Midlands, plus restaurants in Coventry, Chester, two in Merseyside and another in North Wales.

To find out more about job opportunities email hickorys.recruitment@hickorys.co.uk