O'Malleys Pub & Grille, a sports bar that opened on upper King Street many years before that part of the city was transformed into a strip of high-end restaurants and bars, has closed, owner Kevin Cavanaugh confirmed Tuesday.

After eight years as O'Malley's, the Irish pub at 549 King St. has been taken over by Jimmy Latulipe, who will reopen it on May 21 under a new name, King Street Public House.

While it won't abandon it's sports bar roots, the pub will offer a more "upscale" menu, Latulipe said.

"You've got over 30 TV's in there, so it will still be a sports bar. It'll just be more upscale so that people can go in there, watch a game, and actually enjoy a good meal," he said.

Brannon Florie, the head chef of the former 17 North Roadside Kitchen, is "helping out" in the kitchen. The new menu will center on sandwiches and salads during lunch, and southern dishes such as catfish and grits at dinner.

At night, the restaurant will still be transformed into a late-night bar aimed at college students. Latulipe said he hopes to continue hosting DJ's and other live entertainment.

"We're trying to go after both kinds of crowds, the college crowd and people between 25 and 40 (years old)," he said. "I don't think college kids come out during the day for lunch in that area, so we're going to focus on the food and offer some live entertainment during happy hour to go after that older crowd."

The spacious bar is being updated with new floors, tables and kitchen equipment. The new signage should be installed by the end of the week, Latulipe said.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail