A PUBLIC toilet block once used by drug addicts has completed a radical transformation into a Mediterranean themed café which is opening today.

Bermuda Café, located on Poole Hill in Bournemouth, is launching as a family-friendly venue after months of preparation.

Owner Ari Hassan has overseen a complete overhaul of the dilapidated site, which has changed beyond recognition.

“When we first started clearing out we found about 100 needles,” said the entrepreneur, who has lived in Bournemouth for the last 11 years.

“This place was frequented by drug users and homeless people for a long time, so I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and how it looks and feels now.”

The venture comes at a time when the Triangle area is attracting fresh investment after being identified by the council as requiring regeneration.

And Mr Hassan said he has been encouraged by the support neighbouring businesses have offered him.

“I had been nervous about investing in this area in the past because of the amount of shops that were vacant,” he said.

“But now there are new places opening and the whole area is livening up.”

The 60-seat premises has a licence to serve alcohol between 11am and 11pm, and the menu includes an array of pastries, cakes as well as burgers, sandwiches and a traditional English breakfast, among other items.

Ward councillor Rae Stollard told the Echo she admires the innovation of Mr Hassan.

“I think it is very much in keeping with the conservation area, it is a great enhancement of the area and it’s a very brave concept that he has brought to life,” she said.

“I used to look at this building and think ‘who on earth is going to buy this?’”

Council officers, however, have asked Mr Hassan to change the landscaping in a section of the outside space so it remains in keeping with the conservation area.

A decision on this will be made by the borough’s planning board at a meeting on Monday.

Cllr Stollard said: “When you look at it in the context of surrounding buildings, it fits in perfectly.”