A NEW high-street venture is hoping to clinch the crown of Blackburn’s top eaterie.

King BBQ is opening its doors on King William Street for the first time from Monday after refitting the former Co-op Bank premises.

Fifteen jobs are being created as a result and boss Dan Flanagan is hopeful he will be taking on more staff soon.

And with the town’s student population already showing an interest, while refurbishments have been ongoing, he is gearing up to compete with the town centre’s takeaways and cafes.

Ahead of his Blackburn launch, Mr Flanagan, who was originally a wholesale chicken importer by trade and has interests across the North West, said; “Our shop is in a good location and was reasonably priced when we enquired.

“It was an old bank and the doors had not been opened for years so it needed some work.

“We opened one shop in Rochdale this week, which also has a butchery, and this will be our second.

“Our offer includes great-quality chicken and chicken chunks, and we will also be running a deli and offering pies and other savouries.”

Seven-day-a-week operations are envisaged and the shop, which is sandwiched between the NatWest and Yorkshire Building Society, is opening from 7am daily for the breakfast crowd.

Mr Flanagan is also aiming to avoid some of the pitfalls which saw the Crawshaws chain, which had an outlet in Railway Road, falter earlier this year.

Food retail in Blackburn is proving increasingly competitive, with Frankies opening recently on Salford and chicken giants KFC fitting out premises in the Mall. The future of the old Crawshaw’s shop has also prompted speculation about another potential rival.

Mr Flanagan also runs the Johnny Rockets takeaway and Evans chip shop, both in Preston, and runs a hotel in the city’s Blackpool Road.