Northern Restaurant & Bar preview

A look ahead at the highlights of March’s Northern Restaurant & Bar show

From craft beers and premium spirits to the latest bar equipment, the Northern Restaurant & Bar show returns next month, offering ideas and inspiration for the trade. It takes place at Manchester Central on March 5 and 6 and promises to be 20 per cent larger than last year, attracting around 6,000 visitors from across the north of England.

For bartenders and owners looking to learn about new drinks and serves, the Liquor Theatre will feature demonstrations and competitions as well as a chance to sample the latest spirits in the neighbouring Spirit Room. Brands confirmed include G’Vine gin, Excellia tequila, Snow Queen Vodka and Babicka wormwood vodka. It will also host talks about spirits from the team of experts at Drinking Classes as well as a session on gin from James Hayman of Hayman Distillers. The Liquor Theatre is curated by consultant Dave Marsland, aka the Drinks Enthusiast.

From Belgian beers to Japanese wine, the Grape & Grain theatre will host tutored tastings of wines and beers from around the world as well as sessions hosted by the team from Port Street Beer House in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Summer Wine Brewery in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, and Red Willow Brewery in Macclesfield, Cheshire, will each showcase two keg beers and three bottled ones.

Northern Restaurant & Bar also brings together companies presenting the latest products for bars, pubs and restaurants. Bar and catering equipment will be on show from the likes of Nisbets, Glen Dimplex Professional Appliances, Stephensons, Streamline Direct, 1st Aurora and Rational, supplier of the SelfCookingCenter Whitefficiency combi oven. There will be coffee machines from Casa Espresso and sustainable water filtration systems from EcoPure Waters. Technology companies will include Definitive Epos Solutions, DBE, GS Systems, KE Supplies and PRS Epos.

Other exhibitors include training provider Charnwood Training Group, food supplier The Cheese Cellar, interior design specialist Décor Fusion, packaged drinks specialist Eliot’s and furniture company GO IN UK.

Drinks companies taking part include Cellar Trends, ICB, LWC, Malcolm Cowen, Matthew Clark, Thatchers Cider and Wenlock Spring Water as well as food and drink supplier Makro. Brewers represented will include Daniel Thwaites, Frederic Robinson and Marston’s while premium soft drinks will be showcased from leading producers Fentiman’s and Luscombe.

The Chef Live cookery theatre is returning, hosting high-profile chefs including Simon Rogan of l’Enclume and Roganic, Aldo Zilli of San Carlo Cicchetti, Aiden Byrne of Manchester House, Steven Doherty of Lakeland Café, and Dave Mooney of the Lord Binning and the Old Sessions House.

The Fine Food Village will be dedicated to high-quality local and regional producers and, in partnership with Game to Eat, will feature a special section promoting wild British game meat, including butchery technique demonstrations.

As a hotspot for hospitality networking, the show will host the announcement of the second annual Northern Restaurant & Bar Top 50 people in the north’s hospitality industry. It also acts as a hub for a number of satellite events run by the likes of industry charities Hospitality Action and Action Against Hunger.

Northern Restaurant & Bar’s managing director, Thom Hetherington, said: “We’re delighted that our 12th Northern Restaurant & Bar will host an additional 50 exhibitor stands bringing the total number of food, drink and catering suppliers to 200. Our stellar line-up of chefs and drinks experts will provide visitors with an inspiring programme of events which will marry perfectly with our brilliant suppliers and producers, creating what we hope will be our best show yet.

“The north has impressive industry credentials to support such a show with 42 per cent of all hospitality establishments based here and a £14billion turnover, meaning Northern Restaurant & Bar is, for thousands in the business, a must-see event for networking, sourcing and inspiration.”

For more information and to register for a free ticket, visit

First published in the February 2013 issue of Bar magazine.

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