London-based Noble Inns, the Scott Hunter and Maria Larsen-led pub and restaurant operator, has appointed Simon Holroyd, formerly of the Dubai-based Al Tayer Group, as its first managing director, M&C Report has learnt.

Holroyd spent over five years at Al Tayer Group, overseeing the group’s food and beverage division, which incorporated nine international franchise brands, including Caffe Nero and Cosi.

He joins the four-strong Noble Inns as it looks to grow its portfolio of sites over the next five years.

Hunter told M&C Report last month that the company wants to add further Smokehouses after the success of its first site under the concept the Butcher and Smokehouse, which opened in Islington last summer and specialises in fish and meat smoked in-house and cooked on barbecues and a robata grill.

He said: “Our business plan is to open one site every year for the next five years, either Smokehouses or another concept that we’ve been working on which is something slightly bigger than anything we’ve done previously.” Hunter wouldn’t be drawn on what the new concept is

Noble Inns is also looking at sites to add to its pub estate, which currently consists of the Princess of Shoreditch, the Lady Ottoline near Chancery Lane, and the Pig and Butcher in Islington.

Hunter added: “We are actively looking and being offered sites. We’re looking at moving maybe more central at some point, into the City or the West End, although for the time being we’re sticking to the parts we know, which are North East London and the nice villages within London.”