Maclay Inns, the Scottish pub and bar operator, is to launch a new pub concept featuring barbecue food and craft beer, M&C Report has learnt.

Clerk’s Bar in Edinburgh’s South Clerk’s Street opens on 11 March. The company in legals on another site to open under the same format in Glasgow.

Managing director Steve Mallon told M&C Report: “It’s a bar-diner with slow-cooked barbecue food as the main point of difference. We’ve done quite a bit of research into what’s going on in London with American-style barbecue, and we want to bring some of it up here.

“This one is in a student quarter of Edinburgh. We think it will work there. The second development will be a larger city centre site that we’re in the process of buying.”

Craft beer will be served and there will also be live sport.

Maclay Inns has bought the freehold of the Edinburgh site, which was previously a Chinese restaurant. It features 80 covers and operates over the ground level and basement.

Mallon said he’d “see how things go” regarding rolling the concept out further.

“We see it as something we can deliver to a fairly decent standard of excellence, and we will look for opportunities where we think it’s right for the market.”

Mallon said he hoped to have the two sites trading within the first four or five months of the year.

“We still have ambitions to have another five [sites] this year. We are seeing some opportunities so it’s about working our way through them.”