Upscale coffee brand WatchHouse is to open five new sites in the capital as well as its first site outside London, in Bath, taking its total number of sites to 12 this year.

CEO and founder Roland Horne, who recently hired former Eat CEO Andrew Walker as non-executive director, is hoping to “redefine the multi-site model”.

He told BigHospitality future openings to be “as thoughtfully designed and sustainably sourced” as its original site in Bermondsey Street, which opened in 2014.

WatchHouse serves artisanal coffee with a premium breakfast, brunch and lunch-focused food offering, with larger sites offering an in house-produced menu, and smaller sites offering grab-and-go.

WatchHouse’s first opening of 2021 launches on 19 April and will be its largest yet. Based in the Foggo-designed 70 St Mary Axe Tower, also known as the Can of Ham, in the City near the Gherkin tower, the 3,900 sq ft site will seat 70 guests over three floors, with an outdoor terrace for 30.

Created by WatchHouse’s in-house design team, headed by former Aesop and Cubitts designer Deidra Hodgson, it takes inspiration from the Can of Ham building, with a custom brewbar and acid washed ModBar, a 12 metre-long stainless steel curved counter and suspended monolithic canopy arch.

Following St Mary’s Axe, WatchHouse will open sites in Bishopsgate, Marylebone and two sites in Covent Garden within the next six months.

Bishopsgate will open in July, offering a grab-and-go service five days a week pitched at those returning to the office.

Seven Dials will open in August, with Marylebone, Covent Garden and Bath following in the autumn.

Horne said: “I’ve been incredibly proud of the resilience and long-term mindset of the WatchHouse team throughout the challenges of Covid-19. To have been able to use this time to take all of our coffee roasting and food production fully in-house has been game changing and sets us up to scale the WatchHouse estate with even greater consistency.

“We look forward to bringing the modern coffee experience to many more communities in London and beyond, as well as continuing to drive our WatchHouse. This rapid expansion is a huge testament to the best-in-class WatchHouse team.”