NRB 50 recognises north’s top names in hospitality


Ross Mackenzie Tim Bacon Martin WolstencroftLeading bar operators have been recognised as being among the top 50 people with the most “influence, impact and overall eminence” in the north’s hospitality industry.

The annual NRB Top 50 awards were announced at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show in Manchester yesterday. They were commended for making a significant impact in their businesses, driving commercial and critical success, creating employment, training and investment as well as creating a profile and prestige for the region and its hospitality sector.

The list includes Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures who operate bars and restaurants such as The Alchemist, Australasia and The Oast House in Manchester as well as the nationwide Blackhouse Grill restaurants.

Marie Carter and Beau Myers are listed for their business Beautiful Drinks, which runs Almost Famous burger restaurant, tiki bar Keko Moku and the new Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn in Manchester.

Also listed are Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod who head Inventive Leisure, the Ashton-under-Lyne-based operator of the expanding Revolution and Revolucione de Cuba bars. Others include Mal Evans, co-owner of Mojo Bars in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, and Cleo Farman, owner of the Odd Bar group including The Blue Pig in Manchester.

Ged Feltham, managing director of Leelex, is listed for his company’s record of running top Leeds bars such as Oporto, The Hummingbird, Neon Cactus and Jake’s Bar. Jobe Ferguson and Ross Mackenzie are both recognised for their ventures such as the two Black Dog Ballroom bars.

Others in the NRB 50 include Si Ord, owner of Sandinista in Leeds and Manchester, and Joel Wilkinson, owner of the Trof bar group that includes Gorilla and The Deaf Institute in Manchester as well as the Trof bars.

The list, which is alphabetical rather than a ranking, also features Martin Wolstencroft, managing director of Arc Inspirations which, for 14 years, has been running some of the best bars in Leeds such as The Arc, Trio and Napa Bar & Kitchen and increasingly further afield such as Banyan Bar & Kitchen in Harrogate and another Banyan due to open in York this summer.

Pictured top are (left to right): Ross Mackenzie, Tim Bacon and Martin Wolstencroft

The top 50 were selected by a panel of experts from catering consultancy The Russell Partnership and drew on successful operators based in the north-west, north-east, Yorkshire and the Humber region.

The 2013 NRB Top 50 list is as follows:

  • Martin Ainscough, co-owner, Ainscough Restaurants
  • Paul Askew, chef patron, The London Carriageworks
  • Mohammed Aslam MBE, owner, Aagrah Group of Restaurants
  • Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, managing director and commercial director, Living Ventures
  • Craig Bancroft and Nigel Haworth, joint managing director and chef patron, Northcote Manor
  • Jonathan Barker, joint managing director, Mitchells of Lancaster
  • Simon Berry and Tim Berry, managing director and director, English Lakes Hotels
  • Tessa Bramley, chef patron, The Old Vicarage
  • Andrew Buchanan, operations director, Daniel Thwaites
  • Ken Buckley, managing director, Bravo Inns
  • Marie Carter and Beau Myers, owners, Beautiful Drinks
  • James Crawfurd Porter, managing director, Tadcaster Pub Company
  • Lynne D’Arcy, managing director, Trust Inns
  • Morgan Davies, co-owner, Barburrito
  • Carlo Distefano and Marcello Distefano, chairman and managing director, San Carlo Group
  • Sarah Dunning, chief executive, Westmorland
  • Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod, CEO and director, Inventive Leisure
  • Mal Evans, owner, Mojo Bars
  • Cleo Farman, owner, Odd Bar
  • Ged Feltham, managing director, Leelex
  • Jobe Ferguson & Ross Mackenzie, directors, Black Dog (and The Northern Quarter Restaurant & Bar for Jobe)
  • Duncan Fisher, owner, The Apartment Group
  • Anthony Flinn, chef patron, Anthony’s Restaurant
  • David Fox and Nick Jeffrey, owners, Tampopo
  • Jonny Heyes, owner, Port Street Beer House
  • Richard Kershaw, managing director, Joseph Holts
  • Terry Laybourne MBE, chef patron, 21 Hospitality Group
  • William Lees Jones, managing director, J W Lees
  • Colin Manning and Gary Manning, directors, 60 Hope Street
  • Vince Margiotta, director, Il Forno & Sapporo
  • Eammon Mcloughlin, owner, Eclectic Hotels
  • Stephen Miles, general manager, Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester
  • Dave Mooney and Paul Newman, owners, New Moon Pub Company
  • Si Ord, owner, Sandinista
  • Steve Perez, chairman, Casa Hotel
  • Andrew Pern, chef patron, The Star at Harome
  • Steve Pilling, director, Damson
  • Clive Preston, chairman, Amber Taverns
  • Peter Robinson and Oliver Robinson, chairman and managing director, Frederic Robinson
  • Simon Rogan, chef patron, L’Enclume
  • Jonathan Slater, managing director, The Chester Grosvenor
  • Humphrey Smith, owner, Samuel Smiths
  • Nick Taplin, managing director, Sanguine Hospitality
  • Lorna Tyson MBE, owner, Mere Brook House
  • Richard Smith, chef patron, Relax Eat & Drink
  • Steven Walker, CEO, Individual Restaurant Company
  • Roger Ward, owner, The Victorian Chophouse Compay
  • Joel Wilkinson, owner, Trof
  • Martin Wolstencroft, managing director, Arc Inspirations
  • Stewart Yip, owner, Red Chilli

In addition, three special achievement winners were honoured for their exceptional accomplishments:

  • Carlo and Marcello Distefano, San Carlo Group
  • Simon Rogan, L’Enclume
  • Stephen Miles, Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester

Thom Hetherington, managing director of Northern Restaurant & Bar, said: “This stellar line-up of restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders, entrepreneurs and business owners has helped to shape our region’s hospitality landscape, making it profitable, sustainable and visionary. I’d like to thank all those who entered this year’s awards – the standard was exceptionally high – and we look forward to hosting the third NRB Top 50 in 2014.”

This year’s NRB Top 50 headline sponsor was Manchester law firm Kuits Solicitors. The awards were also supported by recruitment company Berkeley Scott and The Russell Partnership.

Laurence McCarthy, managing director of The Russell Partnership, said: “We are well placed to recognise excellence in established and growing businesses through our strategic support of successful organisations, so we’re inspired by our judging role becoming increasingly difficult as the northern regions develop innovation in ingredients, concept, location, strategic partnerships and service delivery. The challenge to the rest of the UK is clear, and the export of the special award winners’ businesses into other regions is a fantastic embodiment of this passion for excellence.”

Anthony Lyons, head of licensing at Kuits Solicitors, said: “We have many pioneering operators within our region and it is something to be truly proud of.”

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