Leaders of north’s hospitality named in NRB Top 50


nrb 50The bosses of some of the UK’s leading bar operators have been recognised in the annual NRB Top 50 – the list of the north’s top hospitality professionals.

They were announced this afternoon at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show (NRB) which is at Manchester Central today and tomorrow (March 19).

Recipients of three special achievement awards included Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, the founders and directors of Living Ventures, which operates bars and restaurants such as The Alchemist, Australasia, Artisan, Manchester House, Gusto and Blackhouse.

They were praised for having “built a passionate and evangelical team and developed an awe-inspiring model for success which has redefined the dining out landscape across the north and is making significant inroads across the UK”.

Other bar operators in the NRB Top 50 include Mark Cain of Velvet in Manchester, Marie Carter and Beau Myers of Beautiful Drinks, Mal Evans of Mojo, Cleo Farman of Odd Group, Ged Feltham of Leelex, Jobe Ferguson and Ross Mckenzie of Blackdog Ballroom, James and Karina Hitchen of Neighbourhood and Southern 11, Si Ord of Sandanista, Joel Wilkinson of Trof, Martin Wolstencraft of Arc Inspirations, and James Wrigley of Fluid Bars.

The NRB Top 50 recognises individuals in hospitality operations who are based in the north and have excelled in their field within the last year. This could be in commercial terms, such as expansion, growth, innovation, financial results, employment and training, or critical terms such as awards, reviews, plaudits, customer feedback, and positive trade and consumer press.

It can also be through a wider impact on the industry including mentoring, education, training, charity, associations, tourism, external projects, general altruism and corporate social responsibility.

The names were chosen by the exhibition organisers and a panel of industry experts from the Russell Partnership, a strategic consultancy specialising in the catering, conferencing, events and leisure markets.

The other two special achievement winners, honoured for their exceptional accomplishments, are Paul Askew, chef patron of The London Carriage Works and The Art School in Liverpool, and Marc Wilkinson, chef patron of Restaurant Fraiche in Oxton on the Wirral.

Thom Hetherington, managing director of Northern Restaurant & Bar, said: “Many congratulations to our three special achievement winners and all those included in this year’s NRB Top 50. This year of improving economic conditions has seen ambition and innovation come to the fore, with a host of new launches from smaller entrepreneurial operators alongside the more established players.”

The 2014 NRB Top 50, listed alphabetically:
Paul Askew, chef patron, The London Carriage Works, Liverpool
Mohammed Aslam, owner, Aagrah Group
Tim Bacon, managing director, and Jeremy Roberts, commercial director, Living Ventures
Craig Bancroft, joint managing director, and Nigel Haworth, chef patron, Northcote Manor
John Benson-Smith, consultant chef, Manchester City Football Club
Tim Bilton, chef patron, The Spiced Pear, West Yorkshire
Ken Buckley, managing director, Bravo Inns
Mark Cain, owner, Velvet, Manchester
Marie Carter and Beau Myers, owners, Beautiful Drinks
Morgan Davies, founder and joint CEO, Barburrito
Carlo Distefano, chairman, and Marcello Distefano, managing director, San Carlo Group
James Douglas and Scott Munro, Red’s True Barbecue
Mal Evans, director, Mojo Bars
Cleo Farman, owner, Odd Group
Ged Feltham, owner, Leelex
Jobe Ferguson and Ross Mckenzie, directors, Blackdog Ballroom
Duncan Fisher, owner, Apartment Group
David Fox and Nick Jeffrey, owners, Tampopo
Kevin Georgel, managing director, Admiral Taverns
Alex Hannah, director, Lucha Libre
Jonny Heyes, owner, Port Street Beer House
James and Karina Hitchen, managing directors, Neighbourhood and Southern 11, Manchester
Terry Laybourne, chef patron, 21 Hospitality Group
William Lees Jones, managing director, JW Lees
Mike Magrane, general manager, Q Hotels
Colin Manning, managing partner, and Gary Manning, chef patron, 60 Hope Street, Liverpool
Gary McClarnan, co-owner and managing director, Teacup Kitchen & Teacup Bakery
James Mackenzie, chef patron, Pipe and Glass, Beverley, Humberside
Stephen Miles, general manager, Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester
Dave Mooney and Paul Newman, owners, New Moon Pub Company
Joyceln Neve, managing director, Seafood Pub Company
Andrew Nutter, chef patron, Nutters, Rochdale, Manchester
Eamonn O’Loughlin, owner, Eclectic Hotels
Si Ord, owner, Sandinista
Andrew Pern, chef patron, The Star at Harome
Steve Pilling, director, and Simon Stanley, directors, Damson Group
Simon Rimmer, chef patron, Greens and Flying Pig and Lobster
Oliver Robinson, managing director, and Peter Robinson, chairman, Frederic Robinson
Simon Rogan, chef patron, L’Enclume and Roganic
Jonathan Slater, general manager, Chester Grosvenor
Richard Smith, chef patron, Relax, Eat & Drink
Nick Taplin, managing director, Sanguine Hospitality
Steven Walker, CEO, Individual Restaurant Company
Jonathan Ward, director, Company Value
Roger Ward, owner, The Victorian Chop House Company
Marc Wilkinson, chef patron, Restaurant Fraiche
Joel Wilkinson, owner, Trof group, Manchester
Martin Wolstencraft, managing director, Arc Inspirations
James Wrigley, managing director, Fluid Bars
Stewart Yip, owner, Red Chilli


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