Novus Leisure, Hutton Collins and LGV Capital-backed group, is set to launch a new concept this spring in central London under a premium bar and kitchen format, M&C Report understands.

The 46-strong group is believed to be set to convert an existing site to the new format, which will stretch the company’s existing day parts and aim to be a “new modern neighbourhood bar” that caters to the needs of the local area.

It is thought that if successful the format, which will be the first launched under new chief executive Toby Smith, will be rolled out to up to seven further sites, the majority of which are its former Lewis & Clarke units.

It is understood that the new format’s DNA will be based on being local and female grounded; and feature “storytellers & masters” – staff who are “storytellers of their product and masters in entertaining”.

The group hopes that the concepts will allow its day trade to lead “seamlessly to evening through to an after dark buzzy environment”.

Smith was appointed the new chief executive of Novus last October after stepping down from Stonegate Pub Company

Smith, who has over 20 years’ experience in the leisure sector, replaced Tim Cullum, who took the decision to leave the group. Cullum was appointed chief operating officer in June 2013 and promoted to chief executive shortly afterwards.