A NEW upmarket bar for “mature discerning clientele” is set to open in Billericay.

Ian Reading has taken over the former Vetro bar in Western Road, and plans to relaunch it as Bar Zero.

He hopes to create up to 15 jobs and have the venue open in April.

The former champagne bar went up for sale in January for £150,000, despite the previous owners spending up to £550,000 doing it up.

Mr Reading wants neighbouring residents in Western Road and Norsey Road to feel at ease with plans to reopen the bar.

He has even invited them to meet him for a drink and a chat to find out more about his plans. He said: “We want to put people’s minds at rest that it will be done properly.

“We are going to do some positive things. It’s going to be a very stylish, sophisticated bar for a mature discerning clientele.”

High-end wines, beers and spirits will be served, as well as an extensive list of cocktails.

A full list of changes has not yet been decided, and is due to be revealed by mid- March.

Mr Reading is also planning to hire chefs, bar staff, cleaners, cocktail tenders, waitresses and glass washers, creating 12 to 15 jobs.

He previously owned Mr B’s, been a DJ and entertainment director at ToTs, and has also spun records in Zero 6, all in Southend. Bar Zero is an extension of his online radio business zeroradio.co.uk Mr Reading added: “I have been involved in bars and clubs all my life.

“I’m very excited to come to Billericay, it has fantastic potential.”

The previous champagne bar underwent an upgrade estimated to cost £550,000 in November 2012. Tinted windows were installed along with designer lighting and materials imported from Italy.