Drake & Morgan, the London-based bar and restaurant group backed by Bowmark Capital, has appointed Marcus Brownlow as its new property director, M&C understands.

Brownlow is set to join the nine-strong group, which is in advanced negotiations on two sites in Manchester, from EAT where he is currently head of acquisitions.

Drake & Morgan, which recently opened its largest site so far at King’s Cross, believes there is potential for it to open up to 70 sites across the UK, including up to 15 sites in the capital. It will open in Edinburgh’s St Andrews Square next autumn.

EAT has hired Stephen O’Connell, formerly senior acquisitions manager at PureGym, as its new head of acquisitions.

Drake & Morgan plans a further rollout of its Refinery concept, include taking it beyond London.

Dylan Murray, operations director of the Bowmark Capital-backed group, told M&C that its outlet in Edinburgh would probably be under the Refinery banner.

He said it represented the scalable option for D&M but said the company would still look at standalone operating models, depending on the suitability of the site.

Murray told M&C that he wanted newly opened 14,000 sq ft site at King’s Cross to act as the group’s flagship.

He said: “That’s the reason we wanted to put the name above the door. It’s in a great location and it’s a great space and it gave us the opportunity to show exactly what D&M is about. Going forward it means we have that flagship, we have the scaleble model in the Refinery and we have the collection of great individual sites.”

On growth for the Refinery, Murray said: “It isn’t set in stone but Edinburgh is likely to be a Refinery. Beyond that it is definitely the model we would look to roll out. It’s a concept you can see working in a lot of different places. But it will depend on the site and the circumstances and we would choose the model based on the site.”