Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is looking to develop an Asian food-influenced concept, after an unsuccessful approach for the six-strong Pan Asian restaurant chain, Tampopo, M&C Report has learnt. The managed pub operator is thought to have approached Adrian McCormack, former executive chef at Wagamama and Tampopo, to oversee the development of the new concept’s menu. M&C Report understands that this move comes after M&B also had a close look at Wagamama, the Japanese noodle chain, which was recently acquired by Duke Street, the private equity group, for c.£215m. Tampopo, which was founded by David Fox and Nick Jeffrey in Manchester in 1997, currently operates six restaurant, three restaurants in Manchester, and one each in Leeds, Bristol and Reading. It is thought that the deal was called off after leading figures on the M&B board decided against an acquisition in favour of developing a new concept/brand in house. M&C Report understands that Fox and Jeffrey would have joined M&B as part of the deal, which would have fitted in with the pub company’s wish to open further sites in urban areas and to expand its geographical spread across more of the UK. Over the last decade, M&B, unlike some of its rivals, has stayed away from acquiring brands, concentrating more on organic growth and property plays, such as the acquisition of the Ha Ha Bar & Grill chain from Bay Restaurant Group for £19.5m, which is now being converted to its Browns and All Bar One brands.