James Davy, chief executive of London-based wine bar operator Davy’s, has told M&C Report the “ridiculous” prices in London may mean the company looks to commuter belt towns for expansion.

Davy said that in 2015 the company would concentrate on its pipeline of major refurbishments but said its target was still to open a further ten sites in the next five years.

He said: “We have been looking at sites in central London but what we are finding is some pretty ridiculous rents and premiums. It’s been more difficult than we expected. There are areas on the outskirts of London and across the South East that we would now consider because the prices are much more sensible. There are lots of affluent commuter belt towns where there is a market for an independent  specialist.”

This week Davy’s reported like-for-like sales up 14% for the year to March 2014. Davy told M&C Report that for the current year lfls were around 7.5% up. He said growth was principally being driven by evening trade.

He said the refurbished Holborn bar, which was completed last month, had so far proved popular with customers. He said there were lots of learnings from the new model but insisted it was too early to say what would be rolled out in the rest of the estate.