New Moon Pub Company is close to agreeing a deal for its second Beef & Pudding site in Chester, M&C Report understands.

Co-founder Paul Newman also told M&C Report he is “very close” to securing an 200-cover restaurant in the centre of Liverpool.

The six-strong operator yesterday put the Hanging Gate Inn in Weaverham, Cheshire, on the market. Newman said the site did not have the same opportunities for growth as others in the estate, where there is scope for accommodation and function rooms.

He added: “The way we see ourselves going is much more about city centres. That’s my background and that’s where we see the business growing.”

He said the £195,000 he hopes to get for the Hanging Gate would be re-invested in growing the portfolio.

He said: “We are at a transitional stage with the business at the moment. We are in negotiations over a site in Chester for a Beef & Pudding and we are actively looking in Liverpool.

“I think it’s a concept that can work well and that we can drop into a town centre and people will get it. I’d like to look at Leeds as well.

“It’s very early days but I’d like to think we can grow Beef & Pudding to five or six sites over the next five years.”

Newman said he was also considering rolling out the company’s Mockingbird Taproom model.

However, he said the restaurant in Liverpool was likely to be the next project to open saying: “I’m really excited about this but I can’t say too much at this stage. It’s very close. It’s not going to be a Beef & Dripping. It will be more like the Old Sessions House.”

The Hanging Gate is being marketed by Fleurets.