Darwin & Wallace, the Imbiba backed bar and restaurant group, has secured its third site with an opening in Richmond due for November.

The Mel Marriott-led group has taken the lease for The Lot on Duke Street from Mitchells & Butlers.

Marriott told M&C she is targeting six to seven sites in the short term with the initial focus on London, but said she would consider regional sites.

The company has taken on interior designer Lou Davies of Box9, architect Lionel Real de Azúa of Red Deer and graphic design agency Buro Creative to work on the latest site.

It will feature an open kitchen and a private dining room upstairs.

Marriott told M&C that as a Richmond local she had a good understanding of the area.

She said: “All the big names are in Richmond but I think there’s a real demand for something that’s a bit more current and something that doesn’t have a cookie cutter feel.

“The important thing about Darwin & Wallace is that each of the sites has its own character. You see that in the difference in the sales mix and the times of day that people come. In Richmond there will definitely be a weekend trade there but there is also a really lovely business community.”

On future growth she said: “London is definitely the focus for now but I’m from Yorkshire so Leeds is an area I know well and would be interested in looking at. Darwin & Wallace could certainly work outside of London because we base so much of the concept on our surroundings. The important thing is that the sites are hand-picked.”

Paul Tallentyre at Davis Coffer Lyons acted on the Richmond deal.