Top 50 northern restaurant and bar businesses revealed

21 March 2017 by
Top 50 northern restaurant and bar businesses revealed

Chef and restaurateur Gary Usher (pictured), Paul Moran and Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures, and Jimmy del Giudice and Mark McQuater of Revolution Bars Group have all been recognised with a special achievement award at the Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB) Top 50 2017 awards.

The NRB Top Fifty covers 21 brands, 1,012 sites and over 21,800 employees operating in the north of England. It recognises the 50 most powerful companies in the region, as well as the individuals instrumental to those businesses.

Thom Hetherington, Holden Media, Jimmy del Giudice, Revolution Bars and Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors
Thom Hetherington, Holden Media, Jimmy del Giudice, Revolution Bars and Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors
Del Giudice and McQuater, who are chief operating officer and chief executive of Revolution Bars Group respectively, were chosen for taking on a brand which they knew required an overhaul, changing the offer and reaping the rewards.

Usher, who owns and runs Sticky Walnut in Chester, Burnt Truffle in Heswall on the Wirral, and Hispi in Didsbury, Manchester, was selected as an individual who is "living and breathing the model of what a contemporary restaurateur can be", winning funding via crowd-sourcing, marketing his businesses via social media, and emphasising accessible, neighbourhood dining.

Moran and Roberts, managing director and chief executive of Living Ventures respectively, received the award for driving the business ahead in spite of the loss of co-founder Tim Bacon, who died last year aged just 52.

Thom Hetherington, Holden Media, Paul Moran, Living Ventures and Tony Lyons Kuits Solicitors
Thom Hetherington, Holden Media, Paul Moran, Living Ventures and Tony Lyons Suits Solicitors

"After losing the heart and soul of their team and their business, they have simply powered the company forward, building management teams, spinning off brands, delivering expansion. They continue to shape the northern hospitality industry with a resilience and ambition that Tim Bacon would have admired," Thom Hetherington, CEO of the show's organiser Holden Media said.

The invitation-only NRB Top Fifty awards reception took place at 3pm on 21 March 2017 at Northern Restaurant & Bar, the largest hospitality exhibition outside London. It formed part of NRB Fringe which, as well the awards and the exhibition, included the NRB Debate, Action Against Hunger's Too Many Critics Manchester dinner, a host of industry association meetings and visitor special offers in bars and restaurants across the city.

Hetherington added: "This year's list has shown steady churn with an influx of new entrants particularly from Yorkshire and the North East. Research by CGA Peach demonstrates that the region's ambitious, independent operators are thriving despite increasing competition, and it is the people who make up the NRB Top Fifty who are driving this dynamic.

"I think that in terms of volume, variety and sheer quality Northern food and drink lovers have never had it so good."

The full NRB Top Fifty 2017 list comprised:

Sax Arshad, director, Mughli
Haz Arshad, director, Mughli

Adele, Ashley, owner / head chef, Filmore & Union

Paul Askew, chef-patron, the Art School

Mohammed Aslam, owner, Aagrah Group

Rob Bacon, executive chef director, Hickory's Smokehouse
Jason Bligh, director, Hickory's Smokehouse
Neil McDonnell, managing director, Hickory's Smokehouse
John Welsh, operations director, Hickory's Smokehouse
Craig Bancroft, managing director, Northcote
Nigel Haworth, chef-patron, Northcote

Tim Bird, owner, Cheshire Cat Pub & Bars
Mary Mclaughlin, owner, Cheshire Cat Pub & Bars

Ken Buckley, managing director, Bravo Inns

Marie Carter, director, Beautiful Drinks
Beau Myers, director, Beautiful Drinks

Paul Cogan, group finance & resources director, Betty & Taylors Group
Rachel Fellow, group communications director, Betty & Taylors Group
Philip Hanson, non exec director, Betty & Taylors Group
Clare Morrow, non exec director, Betty & Taylors Group
Berenice Smith, non exec director, Betty & Taylors Group
Lesley Wild, chair of the board, Betty & Taylors Group

Sarah Cook, director, Vaulkhard Group
Harry Vaulkhard, director, Vaulkhard Group
Oliver Vaulkhard, director, Vaulkhard Group

Sue Crimes, MD, Gusto

Morgan Davies, founder / CEO, Barburrito

Stewart Davies, group operations director, GG Hospitality
Ryan Giggs, director, GG Hospitality
Gary Neville, director, GG Hospitality

Jimmy del Giudice, operations director, Revolution Bars Group
Mark McQuater, CEO, Revolution Bars Group

Carlo Distefano, chairman, San Carlo Group
Marcello Distefano, managing director, San Carlo Group

James Douglas, co-owner / director, Reds True BBQ
Scott Munro, co-owner / director, Reds True BBQ

Roy Ellis, director, Mission Mars
Neil Macleod, director, Mission Mars
Dan Mullen, director, Mission Mars
Joel Wilkinson, director, Mission Mars
Adelaide Winter, director, Mission Mars

John Ennis, owner, Graffiti Spirit
Matthew, Farrell, owner, Graffiti Spirit
Nick, Thomas, owner, Graffiti Spirit

Ged Feltham, CEO, Leelex
Paul Lane, managing director, Leelex

Jobe Ferguson, director, Blackdog Ballroom & The Liars Club
Lyndon Higginson, director, Blackdog Ballroom & The Liars Club
Ross Mackenzie, director, Blackdog Ballroom & The Liars Club

Duncan Fisher, owner, Apartment Group

Kit Graves, director, Lake District Hotels
Charles Graves, director, Lake District Hotels
Dani Hope, sales & marketing director, Lake District Hotels

John Gyngell, director, North Bar / North Brewing Company
Christian Townsley, director, North Bar / North Brewing Company

Jamie Hawksworth, owner, Pivovar / The Tapped Brew Co
Jonathon Holdsworth, founder, Pivovar / The Tapped Brew Co

Chris Hill, managing director, New World Trading Company

Chris Hopkins, MD, Hydes Brewery

Matthew Jones, managing director, Jones Bar Group
Ben Jones, operations & finance director, Jones Bar Group

Ban Kaewkraikhot, owner / head chef, Sukhothai

Kim Kaewkraikhot, chairwoman, Thai Leisure Group
Martin Stead, owner, Thai Leisure Group

Terry Laybourne, owner, 21 Hospitality Group

William Lees Jones, managing director, JW Lees

Colin Manning, managing partner, 60 Hope St
Gary Manning, chef-patron, 60 Hope St

Tomas Maunier, director, Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill
Robert Melman, director, Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill

Stephen Miles, general manager, Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester

Paul Moran, managing director, Living Ventures
Jeremy Roberts, CEO, Living Ventures

Lucy Nelson, sales & marketing director, Nelson Hotels
Andrew Nelson, operations director, Nelson Hotels

Joycelyn Neve, managing director, Seafood Pub Company

Michael O'Hare, chef-patron, The Man Behind the Curtain

Andrew Pern, owner / executive chef, The Star at Harome/Star Inn The City

Steve Pilling, co-owner, Damson Group
Simon Stanley, co-owner, Damson Group

Jonathan Poole, director, Red and Blue
Paddy Smith, director, Red and Blue

Simon Potts, managing director, the Alchemist bar & restaurant

Oliver Robinson, managing director, Frederic Robinson

Simon Rogan, co-owner, Umbel Restaurant Group

Franco Sotgiu, co-owner, Solita

Chris Ure, owner, Arc Inspirations
Martin Wolstencroft, managing director / Owner, Arc Inspirations

Gary Usher, owner, Sticky Walnut

Steven Walker, CEO, Individual Restaurants

Marc Wilkinson, chef-patron, Restaurant Fraiche

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