AN old city centre post office is to be converted into a restaurant.

Planning officers at Southampton City Council have granted permission for the ground floor of the building at 57 High Street, near to the historic Red Lion pub and opposite the Job Centre, to be converted to sell food and drink.

The former post office has been vacant for five years and Bournemouth-based Chapel Properties, which is behind the venture, believe it will “benefit the thriving area” of the city, which has seen a major redevelopment in recent years, dubbed the French Quarter.

Exact details of the restaurant have not yet been finalised, but it is likely to create eight full-time jobs, plus work for part-time staff.

The owners hope to open from 11am, with last meals being served at midnight.

The upper storeys of the building are already flats.