A BAR in Bury which became notorious for the wrong reasons has been given a dramatic makeover by a celebrity minder.

Danny Martelli, who has escorted and protected Manchester’s VIPs for 30 years, is the new owner of Lime Lounge in Silver Street which opened earlier this month.

The bar, which was previously known as Bla Bla Bar and before that Coco Lounge, has been empty for months after the licence was revoked last October due to issues with crime and disorder.

Mr Martelli, aged 49, is no stranger to running bars —having owned popular Cheshire nightclub 161 in Hale for many years.

He is desperate for Bury’s bar-goers to give Lime Lounge “the chance it deserves” and to come down and take in the changes for themselves.

Mr Martelli, who was born in Salford but now lives in Daisy Nook, near Ashton-under-Lyne, said: “The place has been completely refurbished and people who have been coming in don’t even recognise it — I wanted to make it completely different to what was there before.

“I wanted to create a safe and relaxed environment where people of all ages can come for a drink and feel completely comfortable.

“We are open six nights a week and have different themes such as forties and fifties with a nostalgic film playing on our big screen, and rock and roll.

“The bar evolves from a midweek meeting place to chill out socially to a full on party with a DJ at weekends.

“We are mimicking a bohemian New York atmosphere and that is something completely unique for Bury.”

Mr Martelli said there is no charge to enter the bar on any night but security, provided by his own firm Scorpion, will be tight to prevent underage drinkers and “problem customers”.

He added: “I have done my homework and I know the police used to have problems with the bar which was here previously.

“But all that is in the past, and people have to make their own minds up by coming down and seeing what they think.”