Tim Bacon, the founder of Living Ventures and Manchester House, has died. He passed away yesterday aged just 52.
Bacon, together with business partner Jeremy Roberts, created some of Manchester's most successful restaurant and bars. He fought lymphoma for 16 years and was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in 2014.
In a statement in the Manchester Evening News - (MEN), Roberts, Living Ventures CEO, said: "It is with incredible sadness that I have to announce the sad passing of Living Ventures Chairman, Tim Bacon, who died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep, on Friday night following a long illness.
"Tim has had many enduring friendships with people in his private and professional life because of his vibrant, honourable and generous spirit. He gave his all to everything he did, especially to his family and his friends who were incredibly important to him. I will greatly miss him as we all will and I've lost a true friend."
Living Ventures comprises 34 restaurants and won MEN business of the year in 2015.
In 2013, Bacon and Roberts set up Manchester House with chef Aiden Byrne, which was featured in the BBC TV series Restaurant Wars the following year. Other restaurants in the group include the Alchemist, Australasia and Gusto.
Byrne commented on Facebook: "Feeling empty. The legend lives on through everyone you touched. Good night and God bless from all of us."
Speaking about his partnership with Roberts in 2014, Bacon told The Caterer: "It was his wife that introduced me to him but we have been together ever since. We have a strong and equal partnership. To me, you have got to understand where your strengths are and where your weaknesses are. Jeremy does all the things that I don't do well."
In 2013, Living Ventures secured ninth place in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For.
The company has been credited with spotting the potential of Manchester's Spinningfields district early. "Manchester is not London," he told The Caterer in 2014. "They are quite independent up here and they like what they like. You can't dictate to them, and they are not nearly as romantic as Londoners. As a result, if they don't like it, they just don't care. It is as simple as that."
Speaking about his career in hospitality, he said: "I like catering a lot because it involves people and it is always moving - you are not static and stuck behind a desk. I couldn't conceive of doing anything else now."
At the time of awarding Bacon and Roberts their Group Restaurateur Catey, the judges described them as "astute businessmen with strong values" who pay close attention to all of their sites, which operate in a number of different cities. They also highlighted the quality of the brands that Living Ventures has developed - all of them quirky, but none of them compromising each other.
One judge added that Bacon and Roberts' achievement in the field of restaurants and bars has been "nothing short of amazing".