Charlie Gilkes, the co-founder of Inception Group, has said the company is seeking to grow its reputation for a high-quality food offer.

Inception opens the second Mr Fogg’s site in Covent Garden next week and has been working with new head chef Angela Groves to craft the menu.

Gilkes told M&C that Fogg’s Tavern, on St Martin’s Lane, will develop the narrative of the Victorian explorer and be split into a “classic Victorian tavern” on the ground floor and a “gin palace” on the first floor.

On the food offer, Gilkes said: “We haven’t gone down the a la carte route. We are offering a range of dishes – pies, ploughman’s, roast dinner sandwiches - that go great with beer and can be eaten leaning against the bar.

“Upstairs the focus will be more on matching the food to the cocktails.

“We’re probably considered to be a largely wet-led operator although with Bunga-Bunga the food is absolutely at the centre of the offer. It’s been really fun to fit a food offer around the Mr Fogg’s story.”

Gilkes said he aimed to have one of London’s largest selections of gins and tonics in the upstairs bar while downstairs the company has worked with Shepherd Neame to create two bespoke beers.

He said the prominent site would also showcase a different side to Inception group.

He said: “It’s very visible and it’s the sort of place where people will pass by and choose to come in for a drink, whereas a lot of our venues are about seeking them out.

“The welcome has always been a big thing for us. I like to think of it like being invited to a friend’s house party. It would be a bit rude if they didn’t greet you when you came into their house and it’s exactly the same here.

“We’ve done a lot of work on the differences in the way staff talk to the guest upstairs and downstairs, we really wanted that different feel. The tavern will be very raucous and tactile whereas upstairs will be more refined. We’ll build that with décor, the way the staff behave, even the music. Downstairs will be old drinking songs, upstairs will be more along the Gilbert and Sullivan lines.”

Gilkes said the company’s next focus would be to roll out the Bunga Bunga brand, with plans for another London site. He said there are also likely to be further spin-offs of the Mr Fogg brand.