The Blind Tiger opened its doors to hundreds of people and live bands took to the stage to mark its launch night.
Former pub manager James Morris said the venue will complement Bolton’s thriving nightlife economy.
Mr Morris has spent £150,000 transforming the former Olive Press in Nelson Square and a launch party was held at the venue, which he hopes will herald a new era for live music in the town.
He said: “We had 900 people in, which I was very happy with.
“It is different from other places in the town and will be really successfully. Live music is becoming very popular and is big in Manchester.”
Guests on the night included Real XS Radio presenter Mike Sweeney who introduced the bands — Superphone from Manchester and Hold The Line from Leeds.
Mr Morris said: “We have acts lined up to play and we are also introducing a jam session, which will be popular.”
The premises have been empty since 2010 when Bolton restaurateur Paul Heathcote sold several branches of his Olive Press chain.
The bar will be open Thursdays to Sundays.
Mr Morris opened the first Blind Tiger in his home town of Bury seven years ago and the new venue will employ up to 15 staff.
Mr Heathcote sold several of the Olive Press chain to concentrate on running his core restaurants, including the flagship Longridge restaurant, but he failed to find a buyer for the Bolton venue Harvey Nichols occupied the premises as a pop-up restaurant during last year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.