Gary Usher and others receive special awards as part of North of England's hospitality power list

NRB Manchester

Northern Restaurant and Bar

Standard Supplier 21st March 2017

Gary Usher and others receive special awards as part of North of England's hospitality power list

Legendary names and rising stars make power list of North’s most significant and influential hospitality operators. This year’s operators cover 210 brands, 1012 sites and over 21,800 employees

The NRB Top Fifty 2017, in association with Kuits Solicitors, has been announced with a mix of long-established names and an exciting ten new entries.

Thom Hetherington, CEO of organisers Holden Media, says “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,” added Thom

Three special achievement awards were presented to Jimmy del Guidice & Mark McQuater of Revolution Bars Group, Gary Usher of Sticky Walnut and Paul Moran & Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures.

Jimmy del Guidice & Mark McQuater were chosen for taking on a brand which they knew required an overhaul, and overhaul it they did. They judged the market, changed the offer, and reaped the rewards, Progress has been relentless, and their new super-premium offering seems to have hit another customer sweet spot.

Gary Usher was selected as an individual who is living and breathing the model of what a contemporary restaurateur can be, with funding via crowd-sourcing, marketing via social media, and an emphasis on accessible, neighbourhood dining. Despite all this the underlying focus in on classical impeccable quality across all sites.

Paul Moran & Jeremy Roberts received the award because 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 and with a resilience, ambition and Tim Bacon would have admired.

A panel of Northern hospitality experts in the fields of hospitality finance, property, law and consultancy deliberated and cogitated through hours of research and judging. The prestige of sealing a place on the list matters more than ever with those included becoming part of the influential NRB Top 50 Alumni association as well as receiving VIP invitations to events including the exclusive NRB Debate and the Too Many Critics Manchester dinner.

The NRB Top Fifty is produced in association with Kuits Solicitors and sponsored by The Russell Partnership, Metis Real Estate, Jelf Manson & CGA Peach.

The invitation only NRB Top Fifty awards reception, supported by Fumo Manchester & JW Lees, took place at 3pm on 21 March 2017 at Northern Restaurant & Bar, the largest hospitality exhibition outside London. It also 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.

NRB Top Fifty 2017:
(listed alphabetically by surname and grouped by company)

Sax Arshad, Director, Mughli
Haz Arshad, Director, Mughli

NEW ENTRY
Adele, Ashley, Owner / Head Chef, Filmore & Union

Paul Askew, Chef Patron, The Art School

Mohammed Aslam MBE, Owner, Aagrah Group

NEW ENTRY
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

NEW ENTRY
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

NEW ENTRY
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

NEW ENTRY
Sarah Cook, Director, Vaulkhard Group
Harry Vaulkhard, Director, Vaulkhard Group
Oliver Vaulkhard, Director, Vaulkhard Group

Sue Crimes, MD, Gusto

Morgan Davies, Founder / CEO, Barburrito

NEW ENTRY
Stewart Davies, Group Operations Director, GG Hospitality
Ryan Giggs, Director, GG Hospitality
Gary Neville, Director, GG Hospitality

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER
Jimmy del Giudice, Operations Director, Revolution Bars Group plc
Mark McQuater, CEO, Revolution Bars Group plc

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

NEW ENTRY
John Gyngell, Director, North Bar / North Brewing Company
Christian Townsley, Director, North Bar / North Brewing Company

NEW ENTRY
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

NEW ENTRY
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

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER
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

NEW ENTRY
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

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER
Gary Usher, Owner, Sticky Walnut

Steven Walker, CEO, Individual Restaurants

Marc Wilkinson, Chef Patron, Restaurant Fraiche