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WELCOME Welcome to the fifth NRB Top Fifty, the prestigious and much anticipated powerlist of the most important and influential individuals within the Northern hospitality industry. We know how seriously you, the hospitality industry, take these awards and this year we have almost doubled the amount of research and collation that goes into the judging process. You can see the results in the fifty extended operator profiles which begin overleaf. This year’s list clearly shows that the North’s recent influx of London brands has spurred local operators on to lead the way In terms of new launches, new concepts and new benchmarks of both experiential excellence and financial performance. CGA Peach’s latest report shows that the North is closing the gap on London in the context of the number of food and drink businesses in our towns and cities, and the people who make up the NRB Top Fifty are driving this dynamic. To those included in this prestigious list I say congratulations, and to the judges and our generous sponsors I say a heartfelt thank you for your time and support. Enjoy the reception, with superb Spanish wine and canapés from Iberica Spinningfields, and take the time to explore Northern Restaurant & Bar. We hope to see you all again, after another successful year, in March 2017.
Thom Hetherington CEO Northern Restaurant and Bar
IN ASSOCIATION WITH Kuits Solicitors is a leading commercial law firm based in Manchester. Ranked “Elite” for licensing in the Legal 500 directory, we work closely with clients to understand their needs and objectives, and provide tailored legal solutions. kuits.com
Jelf Manson is one of Manchester’s leading insurance brokers. Serving Manchester and the North West region for over 40 years, we put customer care at the heart of what we do. We cater for a wide range of business insurance sectors and niches including restaurants and casual dining, indeed we have been insuring local restaurants and a number of national restaurant chains for over 15 years.
Metis Real Estate Advisors are an independent commercial real estate consultancy providing expert advice to occupiers, landlords, investors and developers across the UK. The Leisure team provides advice on some of the UK’s best known leisure schemes as well as providing acquisition strategy and advice to national, regional and local Operators. metisrealestate.com
jelfgroup.com SUPPORTED BY
The Russell Partnership is a strategic consultancy specialising in Catering, Conferencing, Events and Leisure markets, to deliver bespoke strategies, market and customer insight, creative design solutions, operational implementation and commercially viable results. The Partnership’s 25 years’ experience as well as their innovative and agile approach have earned them global recognition and an impressive client portfolio.
Ibérica Restaurant brings only the very best in Spanish gastronomy, wine and culture to the UK through their restaurants. Guests will consistently experience the passion and expertise of Executive Head Chef Nacho Manzano , who has an impressive 3 Michelin stars to his name through the everevolving and authentic menus. Manzano ensures only the highest quality ingredients imported from carefully selected Spanish producers are used.
JUDGING PROCESS The NRB Top Fifty exists to recognise the most significant hospitality operators in the North of England. We are looking for individuals who are driving their businesses to sector-leading levels of commercial and critical success, who show consistency as well as evolution and innovation and who make a greater contribution to the industry and the region in terms of skills, training, ambassadorial work and general CSR. The NRB Top Fifty can be chef-patrons running world-class kitchens, or captains of industry building extensive multi-brand casual dining portfolios, but they must be inspirational standard bearers for the Northern hospitality industry.
Following this exhaustive process a definitive fifty is selected and balanced to ensure there is no bias in terms of sector or geography. A final round of discussion takes place to select the three operators who the judges feel have achieved something truly exceptional within the preceding twelve months. If you or someone you know would like to be considered for the NRB Top Fifty 2017 then please look out for the nomination process which will start in November 2016. For more information visit nrbtopfifty.co.uk or follow on twitter @nrbtopfifty or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The awards are judged by a panel of leading hospitality experts who span the fields of law, finance, property, insurance, marketing and business consultancy at some of the worldâ€™s biggest food and drink operations. They are all Northern-based and know the region intimately. After the initial round of applications and nominations there is a rigorous paper-based research and assessment process collating hundreds of pages of information about potential inclusions. Following this there is an in-depth judging discussion and, where necessary, additional peer/industry interviews are carried out. We are grateful to The Russell Partnership and CGA Peach for their additional insight at this point.
NRB TOP FIFTY 2016
Mark Andrew Developments
Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill
Revolution Bars Group plc
The Art School
Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill
Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester
New Moon Co
Reds True BBQ
Revolution Bars Group plc
San Carlo Group
San Carlo Group
Reds True BBQ
Seafood Pub Company
New Moon Co
The Man Behind the Curtain
The Star at Harome/ Star Inn The City
Lake District Hotels
Lake District Hotels
Red and Blue
New World Trading Company
Umbel Restaurant Group
Lake District Hotels
Red and Blue
Jones Bar Group
Relax, Eat & Drink/ Brewkitchen
Jones Bar Group
Thai Leisure Group
Thai Leisure Group
21 Hospitality Group
Pipe and Glass
The Midland Hotel
The Victorian Chophouse Company
60 Hope St
60 Hope St
MARTIN AINSCOUGH AINSCOUGHS Brands The Derby Arms, the Farm Shop, the Eagle & Child, Longlands, Miller Howe, the Racquet Club, the Ring O’Bells, the Station, the Strickland, the Wizard Sites: 10 Key Locations: Cheshire, Lake District, Lancashire, Liverpool Number of Employees: 150 Recent Awards: - The Derby Arms and the Ring O’Bells featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2016 - The Eagle & Child, Lancashire Dining Pub of the Year, CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2016
Biography: With ten individual hotels, restaurants and pubs, Martin Ainscough is responsible for a wide range of hospitality offerings throughout the North West, from the Lake District holiday cottages of Longlands to the intimate surrounds of the Racquet Club in Liverpool’s city centre. 2016 was a particularly good year for Ainscoughs in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, with the Derby Arms featuring as a new addition alongside the Ring O’Bells, which retains is place. CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide also awarded the Eagle & Child with Lancashire Dining Pub of the Year.
MARK ANDREW MARK ANDREW DEVELOPMENTS Brands The Fitzgerald, Hula, Infamous Diner, Rosylee, Tusk, Walrus Sites: 7 Key Locations: Manchester Biography: Mark Andrew Developments operates a variety of restaurants and bars throughout Manchesterâ€™s fashionable Northern Quarter and the suburb of Didsbury, from cocktails at the Hula tiki bar, to comfort food at the Rosylee, where Chris Byron took over from Robert Owen Brown as Head Chef in June 2015. Neighbouring bars Tusk and Walrus both underwent a ÂŁ500,000 relaunch in October 2015, while American diner concept Infamous Diner opened in July 2015. The success of Hula Manchester inspired the rebranding of Mtiki as Hula Didsbury in April 2015, and there are plans to expand the Hula brand nationwide.
HAZ ARSHAD, SAX ARSHAD ZANNA GROUP Brands Damson & Co, Evelyn’s Café Bar, Mughli, Queenswood, Railway Café Sites: 6 Key Locations: Cheshire, London, Manchester Number of Employees: 100 Recent Awards: - Mughli Rusholme, 7th in Manchester Evening News’s public vote for Manchester’s Best Indian Restaurants Biography: As well as managing one of Manchester’s favourite curry restaurants with Mughli, located on Rusholme’s curry mile, the Zanna Group offer further variety with their restaurants in Manchester, Cheshire and London. The group acquired SuperStore in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, in August 2015, rebranding as Evelyn’s Café & Bar in November 2015 under the leadership of chef Bryon Moses. While earlier in January 2015 the group launched The Railway Café & Gin Bar in Alderly Edge with former North West Chef of the Year David Gale. The project was initially launched as a pop-up but has since become a permanent fixture.
PAUL ASKEW THE ART SCHOOL Brands The Art School Sites: 1 Key Locations: Liverpool Recent Awards: - Highest Quality Assured VisitEngland Taste Accreditation, Taste Northwest - Two AA Rosettes - Listed in the Good Food Guide 2016 - Listed in the Michelin Guide 2016 - Listed in OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants in the UK 2015
Biography: A fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and joint Chair for the North of England, Paul Askew opened The Art School Restaurant where he is Chef Patron in 2014. 2015 saw The Art School win a number of accolades including two AA rosettes as well as listings in the Good Food Guide 2016 and the Michelin Guide 2016. It was also listed in Open Table’s Top 100 Restaurants in the UK in 2015 and received the Highest Quality assured in Visit England Taste Accreditation, Taste North West
MOHAMMED ASLAM MBE AAGRAH GROUP Brands Aagrah Sites: 14 Key Locations: Yorkshire Number of Employees: 450 Recent Awards: - Aagrah Leeds, Best in North East, 2015 British Curry Awards Biography: As owner of the Aagrah Group, Mohammed Aslam MBE now oversees one of the largest groups of curry restaurants in the UK. In addition to his work with Aagrah, Aslam also supports the wider development of the industry through the South Asian Chef Competition, an annual award honouring the best curry chefs in the country. While Aslamâ€™s charity work has hit new heights, with the 33rd Annual Aagrah Business Dinner raising a record-breaking ÂŁ125,000 for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Care and Mosaic in October 2015.
TIM BACON, PAUL MORAN, JEREMY ROBERTS LIVING VENTURES Brands The Alchemist, Artisan, Australasia, Blackhouse, Gusto, Manchester House, New World Trading Co, Red Door Sites: 38 Key Locations: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Midlands, North East, North West Number of Employees: 1400 (approx.) Recent Awards: - Manchester House, four AA Rosettes - Manchester House, Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, National Restaurant Awards 2015 - Tim Bacon nominated for Director of the Year (Large Company), Institute of Director’s North West Director of the Year Awards - Tim Bacon, Retailer’s Retailer, M&C Retailer’s Retailer Awards - Chris Hill, Rising Star, M&C Retailer’s Retailer Awards - New World Trading Co, Best Drinks Offer, the Publican Awards - New World Trading Co, Best Managed Pub Company, the Publican Awards - The Alchemist, Best Bar Central Manchester, Eat, Drink, Sleep Awards - The Botanist Alderly Edge, Best All Day Venue South Manchester, Eat, Drink, Sleep Awards - Tim Bacon, Paul Moran, Jeremy Roberts, Best Entrepeneurs, Eat, Drink Sleep Awards - Living Ventures, Best Drinks Offer in a Group, Harpers Awards - The Botanist Newcastle, Best Managed Pub, the Great British Pub Awards - The Botanist Leeds, Best Bar Team, the Great British Pub Awards - The Alchemist Manchester, Best Spirits Bar/Pub, the Great British Pub Awards
Biography: With an extensive portfolio of bars, pubs and restaurants throughout the UK, Living Ventures are one of the country’s leading hospitality providers. With their brands including Gusto and New World Trading Co, also included individually in this year’s NRB Top Fifty, demonstrates the significance of their output. While flagship restaurant Manchester House continues to be recognised as one of Manchester’s, and the UK’s finest restaurants. As well as the rapid growth of Gusto and New World Trading Co, Living Ventures are looking to develop in Liverpool with the Cunard building project. This will include a new Australasia site on the ground floor, alongside Cunard House, a new restaurant from Aiden Byrne, to take up residence on the first floor, as well as a hospitality training academy.
CRAIG BANCROFT, NIGEL HAWORTH NORTHCOTE LEISURE GROUP Brands Northcote, Ribble Valley Inns & Northcote Offsite Sites: 1 Key Locations: Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire Number of Employees: 140 Recent Awards: - Danny Young, second place in Young National Chef of the Year 2016 - Lewis Dixon, regional finalist, Gold Service Scholarship 2016 - Listed in the Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, National Restaurant Awards 2015
Biography: Northcote is a renowned small luxury hotel with a Michelin star restaurant situated on the edge of the Ribble Valley, in the heart of Lancashire. They continue to host Obsession, their annual food festival, now in its 16th year which included 18 chefs from across five continents, with a combined total of 17 Michelin stars. A £7 million expansion and refurbishment has seen a 39% increase in turnover, while future ambitions include securing a second Michelin star. The Northcote Leisure Group also includes Northcote at the Rovers and Ribble Valley Inns, a portfolio of award winning food led pubs which is expected to expand further in the next twelve months.
- UK’s Best Restaurant Outside of London 2015, voted by readers of Food and Travel Magazine - Listed in Top 50 Restaurants in the UK, Waitrose Good Food Guide 2016 - Membership of Relais & Châteaux
KEN BUCKLEY BRAVO INNS
Brands Bravo Inns Sites: 38 Key Locations: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire Number of Employees: 50+ Biography: With nearly 40 sites across the North West, and employing over 50 people, Bravo Inns is at the vanguard of breathing life back into community pubs in the area, putting real focus on the importance of the community in their offerings. In January 2016 Bravo Inns purchased the Boarâ€™s Head in St Helens, saving it from demolition. The Boarâ€™s Head is set to reopen in April 2016, having been restored to its former glory.
MARIE CARTER, BEAU MYERS BEAUTIFUL DRINKS Brands Almost Famous, Home Sweet Home, Keko Moku, Luck Lust Liquor and Burn Sites: 8 Key Locations: Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester Biography: Directors of Beautiful Drinks, Marie Carter and Beau Myers, have cemented their status throughout the North, with flagship ‘burgers and booze’ brand Almost Famous operating successfully across Liverpool, Leeds, and two Manchester sites. While their other operations include Luck Lust Liquor and Burn, which contributes to Manchester’s growing appetite for Mexican food, and the intimate tiki-bar Keko Moku. The group’s Northern Quarterfavourite Home Sweet Home greatly expanded its operations in November 2015 with the opening of a second site, neighbouring Almost Famous within Manchester’s Great Northern complex.
SUE CRIMES GUSTO Brands Gusto Sites: 12 Key Locations: Cheshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle Biography: Inspired by the traditional grand cafĂŠs of Europe, Gusto offers classic and contemporary Italian food and is one of the key brands in the Living Ventures portfolio. In 2015 their sites increased to a total of twelve, with openings in Leeds and Glasgow, while sales increased by 22%. In 2016 new Gusto sites will open in Birmingham, Leamington Spa and Lytham, while further national growth is planned. Within in the next four to five years there is a target to more than double the number of sites, with a total of 26 cited as a specific goal.
MORGAN DAVIES BARBURRITO Brands Barburrito Sites: 13 Key Locations: Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham Number of Employees: 200 Biography: Under the leadership of Founder & CEO Morgan Davies, Barburrito has become one of the leading Mexican food brands in the UK, with Horizonsâ€™ 2015 Ones to Watch survey specifically naming Barburrito as one of the key contributors to the rapid growth in the market for Mexican food. The brand continues to grow across the UK, with sites opening in Cardiff and London during 2015, with a further site in Newcastle set to open in 2016. November 2015â€™s acquisition of Pinto Mexican Kitchen also saw the brand gain five new sites across Edinburgh and Glasgow, the first of which are set for rebranding and reopening this year.
JIMMY DEL GIUDICE, MARK MCQUATER REVOLUTION BARS GROUP PLC
Brands Revolución de Cuba, Revolution Sites: 58 Key Locations: Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham Number of Employees: 1800 Recent Awards: - Listed in The Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work for 2015
Biography: With a strong national presence, Revolution Bars Group is a leading operator of premium bars across the UK, employing over 1800 people at over 50 sites. The company has a strong culture of valuing their employees, with The Sunday Times listing them in the 100 Best Companies to Work for 2015.
During 2015 like-for-like sales increased by 2.7% in the 26 weeks leading up to Christmas, while the companies second brand Revolución de Cuba opened sites in Milton Keynes, Leeds and Nottingham. Further growth is targeted for 2016, with at least two further sites set to open.
CARLO DISTEFANO, MARCELLO DISTEFANO SAN CARLO GROUP HARNBURY HOLDINGS Brands Cicchetti, Bottega, Flying Pizza, Fiorentina, Fumo, Gran Café, San Carlo, Signor Sassi Sites: 17 Key Locations: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, London, Bangkok & Kuwait Recent Awards: - San Carlo Group – Best Multi Site Brand – The Eat Sleep Drink Awards - Les Routiers Cafe of the Year 2016 Award San Carlo’s Gran Cafee, lower ground floor, Selfridges Exchange Square, Manchester - Cicchetti Manchester – Cheshire Life Restaurant of the Year - San Carlo Liverpool – Winner of the UK’s Best Italian Restaurant – The Italian Food Association Awards - Fumo Birmingham – Winner Les Routiers Restaurant of the Year 2015 Biography: Beginning in 1992 with one restaurant in Birmingham, the San Carlo group now serves the highest quality Italian food across many restaurants, under several different brands located throughout the UK & internationally. A rebrand of the space in Selfridges, Manchester as Gran Café has just won it Les Routiers Café of the year. Further afield diners enjoy Signor Sassi restaurants in Kuwait and Bangkok with Qatar opening soon.
JAMES DOUGLAS, SCOTT MUNRO RED’S TRUE BBQ Brands Red’s True BBQ Sites: 7 Key Locations: Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield Number of Employees: 300+ Recent Awards: - Most Admired Brand, CGA Peach’s prestigious 2015 Hero & Icon Awards
Biography: Leeds-based American smokehouse Red’s True BBQ has experienced rapid growth since opening its first site in 2012, they have since expanded to a total of seven sites, with over 300 members of staff. In 2015 the expansion continued, with the opening of new sites in Liverpool and Shoreditch, helped by a £5 million investment secured from leading hospitality figures including Ian Neill (ex Wagamama), Jamie Barber (Cabana), Stephen Wall (Pho), and more.
An eighth site in Sheffield is set to open in April 2016, while a further investment of £9 million will fund the opening of eight to ten new sites within the next two years. Looking further forward, the group intends to grow to twenty sites by 2020.
ROY ELLIS, NEIL MACLEOD, DAN MULLEN, JOEL WILKINSON, ADELAIDE WINTER MISSION MARS Brands Albert Hall, Albert’s Schloss, Deaf Institute, Gorilla, Trof NQ Sites: 5 Key Locations: Manchester Recent Awards: - Albert Hall, Gorilla and Deaf Institute included in the official Independent Venue Week list Biography: Founded in August 2015 when Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod purchased a 50% stake in Joel Wilkinson and Adelaide Winter’s Trof Group, Mission Mars fully launched with the opening of Albert’s Schloss in October 2015, a German beer house located on the ground floor of Manchester’s iconic Albert Hall. Recognising their contribution to music in Manchester, the Albert Hall, Gorilla and Deaf Institute were all included in this year’s official Independent Venue Week list, a seven-day celebration of small music venues in the UK. As Mission Mars continue to expand, the founders have stated their aim to launch ‘the best entertainment venues and bars in the world.’
JOHN ENNIS, MATTHEW FARRELL, NICK THOMAS GRAFFITI SPIRIT Brands 81 Ltd, 83 Ltd, Salt Dog Slims, El Bandito, Keuken, Santa Chupitos, Santa Mulaca, Slim’s Pork Chop Express Sites: 7 Key Locations: Liverpool Number of Employees: 50 Recent Awards: - Slim’s Pork Chop Express, winner Diner’s Choice 2015, OpenTable Biography: Operating a number of restaurants and bars across Liverpool, Graffiti Spirit provide a number of options from the intimate and exclusive speakeasy 81 Ltd to the American BBQ and Dim Sum on offer at Slim’s Pork Chop Express. Owners John Ennis, Matthew Farrell and Nick Thomas have seen the business grow into a £3.3 million turnover operation, with the group launching its seventh site, the pop-up bar Keuken, in December 2015. The group’s permanent seventh site is set to open in 2016, a rodizio pizzeria concept named Santa Mulaca. This is in addition to a desire for further expansion nationally, with the owners ‘actively looking for sites in London.’
GED FELTHAM, PAUL LANE LEELEX Brands Cielo Blanco, Hummingbird Kitchen, Jakeâ€™s Bar, Neon Cactus, Oporto, Pintura, Portobello Star Sites: 7 Key Locations: Leeds, London Recent Awards: - Pintura nominated for Best Restaurant and Bar Design, SBID (Society of
British and International Design) International Design Excellence Awards 2015 - Pintura, Best Restaurant Runner Up, Observer FoodMonthly Awards 2015 Biography: Ged Felthamâ€™s Leelex is a bar, restaurant and music company currently operating seven sites across Leeds and London. The company produces its own
gin at their London venue the Portobello Star, and are also partners in Dead Young, a record label and live music company. In March 2015 Pintura opened its doors, offering tapas specifically inspired by the Basque region. Leelex have stated a general desire for further growth, including a possible Manchester site for Mexican restaurant Cielo Blanco.
JOBE FERGUSON, ROSS MACKENZIE, LYNDON HIGGINSON BLACKDOG BALLROOM AND THE LIARS CLUB Brands Blackdog Ballroom, Cane & Grain, Crazy Pedro’s, Dog Bowl, The Liar’s Club, Xolo Sites: 8 Key Locations: Manchester Number of Employees: 250 Recent Awards: - Crazy Pedro’s declared the best mezcaleria outside of Mexico by Del Maguey and Amathus Drinks Biography: From bars, to bowling to dining, Jobe Ferguson, Ross Mackenzie and Lyndon Higginson provide a significant contribution to Manchester’s nightlife with their various operations.
Black Dog Ballroom’s Northern Quarter site underwent a £175,000 refurbishment in September 2015, while Cane & Grain was listed in Britain’s 10 Best Barbecue Restaurants by the Telegraph in October. As well as offering one of Manchester’s only late-night eating options (aside from kebab shops), Crazy Pedro’s has been declared the best mezcaleria outside of Mexico by high-quality mezcal producer Del Maguey and Amathus Drinks. In addition Jobe also operates the Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar TNQ
DUNCAN FISHER THE APARTMENT GROUP Brands As You Like It, Dr Feelgood, Florita’s, House of Smith, the Joiner’s Arms, Liberty Brown, Madame Koo, Mr Lynch, Nancy’s Bordello, Newton Hall, Le Petit Chateau
Biography: Operating across the North East, from Newcastle’s city centre to Northumberland’s spectacular coastline, Duncan Fisher’s The Apartment Group consists of a variety of bars, pubs and hotels.
Billed as ‘The North East’s most exciting and original wedding venue’, the group’s eleventh venue Le Petit Chateau is due to open in April 2016, offering French chic in the heart of Northumberland. Completely transforming the Percy Arms Hotel, which previously occupied this site, the new venue is set to create up to 60 jobs in the local area.
Key Locations: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Number of Employees: 400 Recent Awards: - Newton Hall, Silver Award, Small Hotel of the Year, North East Tourism Awards 2015
CHARLES GRAVES, KIT GRAVES, DANI HOPE LAKE DISTRICT HOTELS Brands Borrowdale Hotel, George Hotel, Inn on the Lake, Inn on the Square, Kings Arms Hotel, Lodore Falls Hotel, Skiddaw Hotel Sites: 7 Key Locations: Lake District Number of Employees: 300+ Biography: Lake District Hotels is a family owned collection of 7 hotels, established in 1984 by Kit and Charles Graves when they bought the Kings Arms Hotel in Keswick. The most recent addition to the group Inn on the Square, Keswick, underwent a ÂŁ2.5million renovation including full interiors, redeveloping 34 bedrooms, brand new kitchen, new roof, lift and more. Major investment has continued in the Inn on the Lake, Ullswater, one of the most popular wedding venues in Cumbria, with an 80 seater dedicated wedding venue will be added to the hotel end of April 2016 The group has supported the community during the devastating floods from Storm Desmond in Keswick and Glenridding.
CHRIS HILL NEW WORLD TRADING CO Brands The Botanist, the Club House, the Oast House, Smuggler’s Cove, Trading House Sites: 10 Key Locations: Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, London Number of Employees: 350 Recent Awards: - Chris Hill, Rising Star, M&C Retailer’s Retailer Awards - New World Trading Co, Best Drinks Offer, the Publican Awards - New World Trading Co, Best Managed Pub Company, the Publican Awards - 20th, Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 (fastest growing companies in the UK)
Biography: Operating within Living Ventures, New World Trading Co consists of a number of pub and bar brands located throughout the UK, from the botanical cocktails on offer at The Botanist, to the unique environment of The Oast House. 2015 was an extremely successful year, with an 83% increase in turnover and a 58% increase in adjusted profit, going up to £2.3 million. This led to The Botanist opening a new site in Marlow in December 2015, while two further sites are scheduled to open by March 2016, including a Knutsford location. The Club House is set to open in Liverpool One during 2016, while further growth is targeted in the West of the UK, with Cardiff, Bath and Bristol being considered for future sites.
- Smuggler’s Cove, Spirits Pub of the Year, the Great British Pub Awards 2015 - The Botanist Alderly Edge, Best All Day Venue South Manchester, Eat, Drink, Sleep Awards - The Botanist Newcastle, Best Managed Pub, the Great British Pub Awards - The Botanist Leeds, Best Bar Team, the Great British Pub Awards
CHRIS HOPKINS HYDES BREWERY
Brands Hydes Sites: 60 (approx.) Key Locations: North Wales, North West Number of Employees: 440
Recent Awards: - Abel Heywood, second place in Best Pub, CityLife Awards 2015 - Nominated for Best Managed Operator (2-50 sites), Publican Awards 2016
Biography: With over 150 years of history, Hydes Brewery is one of Manchesterâ€™s most significant brewers and pub operators. Their portfolio currently consists of approximately 60 sites located throughout the North West of England and North Wales. In June 2015 Hydes launched the Beer Studio bar in Fallowfield, allowing a new focus on craft beer. This led to the launch of a range of bottled craft beers via the Beer Studio in December 2015. Hydes expanded and gained six sites in Cheshire in September 2015 with the acquisition of Woodward & Falconer Pub Co, this is intended to provide a platform for further acquisitions of food-led business.
BEN JONES, MATTHEW JONES JONES BAR GROUP
Brands 51% Bourbon, Bar 166 & Bistro, Brooklyn, Hirst’s Yard, Homage2Fromage, Roxy Ball Room, Roxy Lanes, Slate NQ Sites: 9 Key Locations: Leeds, Liverpool
Biography: Operating out of Leeds, Jones Bar Group is managed by brothers Matthew and Ben Jones, who oversee a range of bars and restaurants. From their games-led bars Roxy Lanes and Roxy Ball Room, to café and monthly cheese club Homage2Fromage, the group offers a diverse array of options. Jones Bar Group’s newest brand, Slate NQ, opened in Leeds in June 2015, while Roxy Ball Room Liverpool opened in February 2016, the group’s first site outside of Leeds. A Nottingham site for Roxy Ball Room is being explored as a possibility, while Manchester and Sheffield have been cited as further possible locations for expansion.
KIM KAEWKRAIKHOT, MARTIN STEAD THAI LEISURE GROUP Brands Chaobaby Thai Banquet, Chaophraya, Palm Sugar Lounge Bar, Thaikhun, YeeRah Sites: 19 Key Locations: Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield Number of Employees: 750 Biography: The Thai Leisure Group have further developed their group of successful Chaophraya restaurants with sites in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham launched over the past ten years 2015 has been a successful year for the Thai Leisure Group and has generated like for like sales growth of 9%, with further expansion planned in 2016. More recently ÂŁ5 million of funding has been secured to support the growth and expansion of Thaikhun, with eight new sites planned to open in 2016.
ELAINE KINSELLA, PETER KINSELLA LUNYA Brands Lunya Liverpool, Lunya Manchester Sites: 2 Key Locations: Liverpool, Manchester Number of Employees: 97
Recent Awards: - Lunya Liverpool, Northwest Restaurant of the Year, Good Food Guide - Lunya Manchester, Best Restaurant, CityLife Awards
Biography: Lunya is Peter and Elaine Kinsellaâ€™s homage to Catalunya and Spain, operating their deli, restaurant and bar concept in both Liverpool and Manchester, with the Manchester site having opened in October 2015. Both restaurants are fully-fledged awardwinners, while the online deli is the largest in the UK, offering over 1000 different products. Lunya also supported 2015â€™s Refugee Week, with Peter Kinsella cooking for 120 refugees at Asylum Link Merseyside. In March 2015 Ian Jackson was appointed General Manager of Lunya Liverpool, allowing the Kinsellas to focus on developing further sites in the north, which has already begun with the aforementioned Manchester site.
TERRY LAYBOURNE 21 HOSPITALITY GROUP Brands 21, the Broad Chare, Café 21 at Fenwick, Caffé Vivo, Ko Sai, Saltwater Fish Company Sites: 6 Key Locations: Newcastle Number of Employees: 200
Biography: Starting in 1988 with his 21 Queen Street restaurant, chef Terry Laybourne has since overseen the development of the 21 Hospitality Group, now consisting of six different restaurants located throughout Newcastle upon Tyne. In September 2015 Laybourne’s flagship restaurant Café 21 relaunched as 21, now the current incarnation of his very first restaurant, 21 Queen Street. Laybourne was also instrumental in the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Fenwick Food Hall, opened to the public in October 2015. In addition to consulting on the menu and concept of Fuego Bar & Restaurant, he also contributed two new restaurant concepts, the healthy Asian street food of Ko Sai and the fast, casual seafood dining of the Saltwater Fish Company.
WILLIAM LEES JONES JW LEES Brands The Alderly Edge Hotel, JW Lees Brewery, JW Lees Pubs, Willoughby’s Wine Merchants, the Trearddur Hotel Sites: 148 Key Locations: North Wales, North West Number of Employees: 1000+ Biography: Founded in 1828, family-owned brewery JW Lees now employs over 1000 people throughout their brewery and headquarters in Middleton, North Manchester and their 36 managed pubs, with a further 105 pub tenants across the North West of England and North Wales. 2015 was a record year for JW Lees, achieving a turnover of £64 million and recording a 22.3% increase in pre-tax profits, which reached £5.6 million. The group’s 2015 openings included The Greyhound in Ashley, which opened in June, and The Parrswood in Manchester, which reopened in September after a £900,000 refurbishment.
JAMES MACKENZIE PIPE AND GLASS Brands Pipe and Glass Sites: 1
Recent Awards: - Awarded the Good Pub Guide’s National Dining Pub of the Year for 2015
Key Locations: South Dalton
- Third in Morning Advertiser’s Top 50 Gastropubs 2015
Number of Employees: 40
- Sixth in the Good Food Guide’s Top 50 UK Pubs 2015
Biography: The quintessential country inn, Michelin starred Pipe and Glass can trace its roots back to the 17th century, as it stands on the site of the original gatehouse to Dalton Park, on the Dalton Estate. The premises are regularly updated, most recently including the addition of three new guest rooms and a kitchen garden as part of a garden redesign. Pipe and Glass consistently finds itself listed amongst the nation’s top pubs, with recent awards from the Good Pub Guide, the Good Food Guide and the Morning Advertiser showing that it is still a national favourite.
- Listed in the Top 100 Restaurants Outside London, Square Meal Magazine
MIKE MAGRANE THE MIDLAND HOTEL Brands The French, the Midland Hotel, Mr Cooper’s House & Garden Sites: 2 Key Locations: Manchester Number of Employees: 550 Recent Awards: - The Midland Hotel, AA Silver Award - The Midland Hotel, Best Wedding Venue, Eat Sleep Drink Awards 2015 - The Midland Hotel, bronze award, Best UK Hotel, 2015 Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards - The French, listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants 2015 - The French, Best Restaurant (outside of London), Food & Travel Reader Awards
- The French, listed in Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, Publican’s National Restaurant Awards 2015 - The French, selected by Mary-Ellen McTague for the Observer’s 40 Best Restaurants in Britain - The French, 17th in the Waitrose Good Food Guide - Mr Cooper’s, Best Hotel Restaurant, Eat Sleep Drink Awards 2015 - Mr Cooper’s, Chairman’s Choice – Best Premium Dining, Eat Sleep Drink Awards 2015 - Mr Cooper’s, The Gold Standard, Conde Nast Traveller - Mr Cooper’s, Manchester Restaurant of the Year, Cheshire & Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards
Biography: The driving force behind the success of the iconic Midland Hotel, Mike has been responsible for its strategic development since he arrived in Manchester in 2004 to oversee the £15 million refurbishment. Mike also sits on the Q Hotels executive committee and is Regional General Manager for the North. 2015 saw the Midland Hotel cement its place as a Manchester Institution with a myriad of awards for both the Hotel, the French and Mr Cooper’s House & Garden. Highlights include the AA Silver Award for The Midland Hotel, Mr Cooper’s awarded The Gold Standard by Conde Nast Traveller and The French named as The Best Restaurant (outside London) by the Food & Travel Reader Awards.
- The French, listed in Best UK Restaurants, Square Meal Guide 2015
COLIN MANNING, GARY MANNING 60 HOPE STREET Brands 60 Hope Street, HOST, The Quarter Sites: 3 Key Locations: Liverpool Number of Employees: 125
Biography: With three sites across Liverpool – 60 Hope Street, HOST, and The Quarter – brothers Colin and Gary Manning have become key players in Liverpool’s restaurant scene. With the contemporary dining of 60 Hope Street, the Asian-fusion of HOST and the Italian-inspired The Quarter, the brothers offer up a variety of dining options. In September 2015, GQ magazine listed HOST in its Liverpool City Guide, citing it as a superior alternative to many of Liverpool’s Chinatown restaurants.
TOMAS MAUNIER, ROBERT MELMAN FAZENDA RODIZIO BAR & GRILL Brands Fadenza Rodizio Bar & Grill
Key Locations: Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester
Number of Employees: 184
Biography: Operating three sites in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, â€˜gaucho grillâ€™ brand Fazenda provides a unique Brazilian rodizio dining experience, where freshly-grilled cuts of meat are carved directly at the table. The group are said to have plans to open a fourth location in Birmingham, which will be the next city to experience their unique customer-controlled service, whereby food is requested through the use of a card, flipped to green to signal the waiters to serve, and to red when an appetite has been filled.
STEPHEN MILES RADISSON BLU EDWARDIAN MANCHESTER Brands Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Sites: 1 Key Locations: Manchester Number of Employees: 230 Recent Awards: - Stephen Miles awarded Master Innholder status in April 2015 by the Master Innholders Biography: Located in Manchester’s historic Free Trade Hall, the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester is Manchester’s only five-star hotel, scoring 8/10 in a recent review from the Telegraph. As part of the Edwardian Hotels group, it underwent a rebrand in December 2015 as part of the group’s overall growth strategy. In recognition of his work as General Manager, Stephen Miles was awarded Master Innholder status in April 2015. The hotel retains an ambition to expand into the adjacent Theatre Royal building, after acquiring the site in 2012.
DAVE MOONEY, PAUL NEWMAN NEW MOON CO Brands Beef & Pudding, The Bronx Bar & Pizzeria, Casa Matta, Mockingbird Taproom, New Moon Pubs Sites: 8 Key Locations: Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside Number of Employees: 140+
Biography: New Moon Co, established by Dave Mooney and Paul Newman, is behind eight pubs and restaurants across the North West. 2015 saw significant investment into their New Moon Pubs brand, with the £60,000 refurbishment of the Lord Binning that begins wider plans to put food at the heart of their pubs. The Old Blind School opened in Liverpool in June 2015, also under the New Moon Pubs brand. In September 2015 the Hanging Gate Inn was rebranded as Casa Matta (literally meaning ‘mad house’), allowing Mooney and Newman to fulfil their Italian restaurant ambitions. While new concept the Bronx Bar & Pizzeria was opened in Knutsford in November 2015. Additionally, a second Beef & Pudding site is planned for Liverpool, with a site having been purchased in April 2015.
LUCY NELSON & ANDREW NELSON NELSON HOTELS Brands The Bear’s Paw, the Fishpool Inn, Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa, the Pheasant Inn Sites: 4 Key Locations: Cheshire Recent Awards: - Listed in the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain - The Pheasant Inn nominated for Pub of the Year, 2015-2016 BBC Countryfile Magazine awards - The Fishpool Inn listed 35th in The Top 50 Gastropubs, The Publican
Biography: A family-owned collection of individual hotels, Nelson Hotels operate four sites across Cheshire. The company’s consistent revenue growth over the last three years has seen them listed in the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, while their venues continue to win awards, with the Pheasant Inn nominated for the BBC Countryfile Magzine Pub of the Year award, and the Fishpool Inn listed 35th in the Publican’s Top 50 Gastropubs. Flagship venue the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa underwent a £1.5 million refurbishment in August 2015, as part of a series of developments that have seen the property double in size since Nelson Hotels purchased it in 1994.
JOYCELYN NEVE THE SEAFOOD PUB COMPANY Brands The Assheton Arms, Barley Mow, the Derby Arms, the Farmers Arms, the Fenwick, the Oyster & Otter, Town Green Brasserie
Biography: A passion for the Highest quality food backed by distinctive service led to the creation of the Seafood Pub Company in 2010.
The Seafood Pub Company have big plans for 2016 as they look to expand into Cheshire, the Lake District and Merseyside. With 20 sites targeted for developments within the next few years, 8 under the Seafood Pub Company brand, and 12 under the new ‘pubco’ brand the future looks exciting. May 2015 also saw the opening of the Town Green Brasserie.
Key Locations: Lancashire Number of Employees: 145 Recent Awards: - Best Food Offer, Publican Awards 2015 - Anthony Shirley, Executive Chef of the Seafood Pub Company, Best Pub Group Chef, Farm Frites Development Chef Awards 2015 - Joycelyn Neve appointed Non-Executive Director of the British Institute of Innkeeping in November 2015
MICHAEL O’HARE THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN Brands The Man Behind the Curtain
Key Locations: Leeds
Recent Awards: - Michael O’Hare competed in the 2015 series of the Great British Menu, he won the North East heat and his fish course made the banquet menu
Number of Employees: 20
- Michelin Star, The Man behind the Curtain, September 2015
Biography: Michael started out studying Aeronautical Engineering where he trained to be a pilot before changing direction to become a chef and work in some of the world’s top restaurants. 2015 was a very successful year for Michael O’Hare which saw him win the North East Heat of the BBC’s Great British Menu Competition, with his fish course which was served at the final banquet. September 2015 saw the award of a Michelin Star for The Man Behind the Curtain Restaurant in Leeds. And in January 2016 in a new development Michael was announced as the Creative Director of GG Hospitality (Hotel Football).
Photos courtesy of Manchester Confidential
EAMONN O’LOUGHLIN ECLECTIC HOTELS Brands Didsbury House Hotel, Eleven Didsbury Park, Great John Street, King Street Townhouse, On the 7th Sites: 5 Key Locations: Manchester Biography: Eamonn O’Loughlinn’s Eclectic Hotels consists of a group of luxury hotels located throughout Manchester city centre and Didsbury, known for their individual style and attention to detail. While On the 7th is an exclusive private member’s club located within MediaCityUK. The groups fourth hotel, the King Street Townhouse opened in December 2015. Located within a Grade II listed building, the new hotel offers the group a second city centre location, with all renovations carefully considered to fit within the Upper King Street conservation area.
SI ORD SANDINISTA Brands Black Swan, Blind Tyger, Half Full Beer Co/Ilkley Brewery, Sandinista, Smokestack, Sites: 5 Key Locations: Leeds, Manchester Number of Employees: 50 Recent Awards: - Ilkley Brewery, SIBA National Champion award for Ruby Jane - Ilkley Brewery, National Silver Medal for the Mayan - The Black Swan, shortlisted for Best of British, YEP Oliver Awards Biography: Si Ord opened Sandinista Leeds in 2002 and following on from its success its Manchester equivalent opened in 2011. Leeds is also home to the New Orleans inspired Speak Easy Smokestack which opened in 2007 as well as Blind Tyger. This year has been busy with the Formation of the Half Full Beer Co alongside the purchase of Ilkley Brewery in July 2015. Further developments include the establishment of the Black Swan as a microbrewery.
ANDREW PERN THE STAR AT HAROME / STAR INN THE CITY Brands The Star at Harome, Star Inn the City Sites: 2
Recent Awards: - The Star at Harome, 17th in the Good Food Guide 2016 Top 50 Pubs
Key Locations: Harome, Yorkshire
- The Star at Harome, 3rd in the Publican’s Top 50 Gastropubs 2016
Number of Employees: 180
- The Star at Harome, Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor - The Star Inn the City, Diner’s Choice 2016, OpenTable
Biography: Andrew Pern’s name is synonymous with that of his pub The Star at Harome, consistently appearing on a host of awards lists. The Star at Harome was awarded a Michelin star from 2002 to 2010 inclusive and once again in 2014 to the present day. The Star at Harome and The Star in the City continued to win more accolades in 2015 and 2016. Highlights including The Star at Harome being listed 17th in The Good Food Guide 2016 Top 50 Pubs and 3rd in The Publican’s Top 50 Gastropubs 2016. York’s Star in The City was also named as an Open Table Diner’s Choice in 2016.
STEVE PILLING, SIMON STANLEY DAMSON GROUP Brands Damson, the Dockyard, Guilty by Association, the Red Lion, Lost in Tokyo Sites: 7
Key Locations: Greater Manchester, Stockport Recent Awards: - Damson Heaton Moor, AA Rosette November 2015
Biography: As Co-Owners of the Damson Group, Steve Pilling and Simon Stanley have a range of restaurants and bars throughout Greater Manchester and Stockport, from the fine dining of both Damson restaurants to underground Northern Quarter bar Guilty by Association. The reputation of Damson Heaton Moor was bolstered in November 2015 with the awarding of their first AA Rosette. The group added a new venue to its portfolio with the January 2016 opening of Japanese whiskey bar Lost in Tokyo. While further expansion is planned with a third site for the Dockyard scheduled to open soon at Manchesterâ€™s rapidly developing First Street.
JONATHAN POOLE, PADDY SMITH RED AND BLUE Brands Hanover Street Social, Salt House Bacaro, Salt House Tapas Sites: 3
Key Locations: Liverpool Recent Awards: - Hanover Street Social and Salt House Bacaro are new entries in Harden’s 2016 Best UK Restaurants
Biography: As Directors of Red and Blue, Jonathan Poole and Paddy Smith oversee the management of three restaurants in Liverpool, including the brasserie and bar of Hanover Street Social, the Spanish-inspired Salt House Tapas, and the Venetian small plates of Salt House Bacaro. Hanover Street Social and Salt House Bacaro are new additions to the Harden’s UK Restaurant Guide, joining established presence Salt House Tapas. A fourth concept is set to open in June/July 2016 in the site of Liverpool’s Cabin Club, said to have inspired the Beatle’s song Don’t Bother Me. Serving pizzas and small plates, the as-yet-unnamed site will undergo a £700,000-£800,000 development ahead of its opening.
OLIVER ROBINSON FREDERIC ROBINSON Brands Robinsons Brewery Sites: 360 Key Locations: North West Number of Employees: 220 Recent Awards: - Robinsons Brewery Experience, Gold Award, VisitEngland - Robinsons Brewery Experience, Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor Biography: With 360 sites, Frederic Robinson is one of the largest breweries in the North West. In 2015 they underwent a complete digital revamp, creating a mobile-first website as well as micro-sites for each pub that they manage. This was managed alongside a companywide corporate rebrand involving signage, logistics, merchandising and beer brands. In addition to this, they rebuilt their brew house and constructed a brand new visitor centre at their Unicorn Brewery in Stockport. Their new Robinsons Brewery Experience has since become an awardwinning tourist attraction. In July 2015 the company announced a ÂŁ20 million investment in their pubs, to be rolled out over the next five years.
SIMON ROGAN UMBEL RESTAURANT GROUP Brands L’Enclume, Fera, the French, Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, Rogan & Company
- The French, listed in Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, Publican’s National Restaurant Awards 2015
- The French, selected by Mary-Ellen McTague for the Observer’s 40 Best Restaurants in Britain
Key Locations: Cartmel, Manchester, London Number of Employees: 90 Recent Awards: - Fera, L’Enclume, The French, all listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants 2015 - Fera (12th), L’Enclume (1st), The French (17th), Waitrose Good Food Guide - Charlie Lee (Fera), Innes Haywood (L’Enclume), finalists 2016 Gold Service Scholarship - The French, Best Restaurant (outside of London), Food & Travel Reader Awards
- Mr Cooper’s, Best Hotel Restaurant, Eat Sleep Drink Awards 2015 - Mr Cooper’s, Chairman’s Choice – Best Premium Dining, Eat Sleep Drink Awards 2015 - Mr Cooper’s, The Gold Standard, Conde Nast Traveller - Mr Cooper’s, Manchester Restaurant of the Year, Cheshire & Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards
Biography: Simon Rogan’s Umbel Restaurant Group encompassing Fera, L’Enclume, the French, Mr Cooper’s House and Garden and Rogan & Company has been awarded numerous accolades in 2015 and 2016. Outstanding achievements include L’Enclume being listed first in The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2015 alongside Fera and the French at 12th and 17th respectively. In addition, Fera, L’Enclume and The French were all listed in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in 2015. Closer to home Mr Cooper’s was recently named as the Manchester Restaurant of the Year, Cheshire & Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards.
- The French, listed in Best UK Restaurants, Square Meal Guide 2015
RICHARD SMITH RELAX, EAT & DRINK/BREWKITCHEN Brands The Cricket Inn, the Graze Inn, the Inn at Troway, LSJ Outside Catering, Rhubard & Mustard, Rose Garden CafĂŠ Sites: 5 Key Locations: Sheffield Number of Employees: 200 Biography: Founded in 2007 after the merger of Smiths of Sheffield and Thornbridge Brewery, BrewKitchen operate a number of restaurants in the Sheffield area, overseen by Chef Patron Richard Smith. Recent activity includes the relaunch of Smith & Baker dining room as Rhubarb & Mustard in November 2015, with a renewed focus on using the best seasonal, local, and sustainable produce. In 2015 Richard Smith also launched Richard Smith Consultancy, offering his 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, to help with the development of new projects.
FRANCO SOTGIU SOLITA Brands Solita Sites: 3 Key Locations: Manchester, Greater Manchester Number of Employees: 125 Recent Awards: - Solita NQ listed in Sunday Times Best Cheap Eats Northwest Biography: The recent takeover of Montpellier’s in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in January 2016, will lead to a new Solita concept being launched in 2017. Whilst alongside this, a brand new steak house concept is to be launched in the Barton Arcade in Manchester later this year. Not content with the successful Solita Prestwich site launch in August 2015, Franco Sotgiu also founded Not Just Soup in February 2015 bringing together Manchester’s restaurants to help feed homeless people in Manchester city centre.
CHRIS URE, MARTIN WOLSTENCROFT ARC INSPIRATIONS Brands Arc, Banyan, the Box, Kith & Kin, Kobe, Manhatta, Napa, the Pit, Trio Sites: 14
Number of Employees: 600 Recent Awards: - Nominated for Best Managed Operator (2-50 sites), Publican Awards 2016
Key Locations: Harrogate, Leeds, Manchester Biography: Owners Chris Ure and Martin Wolstencroft have seen Leeds-based bar group Arc Inspirations grow into a ÂŁ19 million turnover business. With thirteen sites in Leeds and the surrounding area, they have recently expanded into Manchester with the opening of Banyan in Manchesterâ€™s Corn Exchange. This is in addition to major refurbishments of Banyan Harrogate and Zed Bar, which relaunched as Kith & Kin in September 2015. Further growth is planned, with the suburbs of Manchester cited as a specific area of interest. This is in service of reaching a total of 20 sites by 2018, while the opening of Banyan Leeds will take the current total to 15 sites.
GARY USHER STICKY WALNUT Brands Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle, Hispi Bistro Sites: 3 Key Locations: Cheshire, Merseyside Recent Awards: - Gary Usher listed in the 13 Most Important UK Chefs for 2016, Olive Magazine Biography: Gary Usher took over a rundown restaurant in Chester and turned it into a successful bistro, opening Sticky Walnut in 2011. Four years later Gary and his team opened restaurant number two, Burnt Truffle, after an innovative Kickstarter campaign exceeded expectations and made it possible. Usher is opening a third site, Hispi, in the Chorlton area of Manchester in 2016 with a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise ÂŁ50,000 launching soon.
STEVEN WALKER INDIVIDUAL RESTAURANTS Brands BarBBQ On Ice, Bank, Gino D’Acampo, Piccolino, the Restaurant Bar & Grill Sites: 35
Key Locations: Glasgow, Midlands, North East, North West, London, Yorkshire Number of Employees: 1371
Biography: With over 30 sites nationwide, Individual Restaurants are one of the UK’s leading restaurant companies. In 2015 revenue increased to £59.4 million, while pre-tax profits increased to over £500,000. In November 2015 a flagship Piccolino site was opened in Alderly Edge, while new concept Gino D’Acampo – My Restaurant was launched with a site in Manchester’s Corn Exchange, opened in December 2015, soon followed by a second site in London’s Euston Station, opened in February 2016.
ROGER WARD THE VICTORIAN CHOP HOUSE COMPANY Brands The Albert Square Chop House, Sam’s Chop House, Mr Thomas’s Chop House Sites: 3 Key Locations: Manchester Number of Employees: 120 Biography: With a background in advertising in 2000 Roger decided to stop developing other people’s brands and create his own, The Victorian Chop House Company. 2015 has seen the refurbishment of The Albert Square Chop House in the iconic Memorial Hall starting with the bar and to be followed up with the restaurant later this year. A collaboration with St Ann’s Church in Manchester to further develop a pocket garden space is expected in 2016. Sam’s Chop House was also listed in the Good Food Guide 2015.
MARC WILKINSON RESTAURANT FRAICHE Brands Restaurant Fraiche Sites: 1 Key Locations: Oxton Number of Employees: 3
Recent Awards: - 22 on Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants - Finalist, Food Porn Awards - 9 in the Good Food Guide, Top 50 Best Restaurants 2016
Biography: Retaining its Michelin star for the eighth year in a row in September 2015, Marc Wilkinson’s Restaurant Fraiche can be counted amongst the best restaurants in the UK, coming in at 22 in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants, and 9 in the Good Food Guide Top 50 Restaurants. The restaurant is so intimate in scale that Wilkinson mans the kitchen alone, he puts the desire to maintain this scale down to his ‘control freak’ nature.
ONES TO WATCH Whittling the nominations down to a final fifty was an arduous process, with plenty of exciting and worthwhile operators not quite making the final cut. For this reason the judges felt it was worth highlighting some of the people who deserve particular attention over the next twelve months. James Close, Chef-Patron, has developed an incredible business with the Raby Hunt restaurant near Darlington, going from a self-taught chef to a Michelin star in barely three years. There are ambitious development plans for the next twelve and a second site could push the operation on to the next level. Andrew Nutter, whose eponymous restaurant is an institution, is another chef who is pushing on in 2016 with plans for a new dining pub potentially marking a new direction for the business. The judges also noted the progress of Veeno, the Italian wine café founded by Nino Caruso and Andrea Zecchino, which has already expanded to five sites across the North and is aiming for ten by the end of the year and eighty by the end of 2019. In Manchester Mauricio Salvi’s group of restaurants has now grown to three as they have reopened at a much-enlarged incarnation of their original site in the Corn Exchange. Further expansion is expected, though hopefully each of the sites will retain the very personal feel that is their selling point.
There has been plenty of activity in the hotel sector in the North of England, and two regional groups in particular were picked out as worthy of note - Oliver and Dominic Heywood’s ‘Flat Cap Hotels’ and Robert and Gina Parker’s ‘Robert Parker Collection’. The former is looking to grow to five outlets by 2018 and has recently purchased the grade II Sessions House building in Knutsford, whereas the latter holds 23 AA stars for accommodation and 8 AA rosettes for dining across their portfolio and are looking to expand further. Liverpool’s bar scene is as active as ever with Alex Hannah adding Miyagi’s to his Lucha Libre brand, and Rob Gutmann continuing to add to his stable which now includes Korova, Yardbird, Death Row Diner and Miss Kitty’s. Finally, the judges applauded the ambition of Dean Wilson’s Olive Tree Brasseries which has plans to extend far beyond its two current sites. The attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit were applauded, and in a nice bit of circularity Dean states he was partly inspired by getting to put questions to Tim Bacon and Marcello Distefano in the first ever NRB Debate.
NRB TOP FIFTY SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ALUMNI
William Lees Jones JW Lees
Paul Askew The London Carriageworks & The Art School Restaurant
Carlo & Marcello Distefano San Carlo Group
Craig Bancroft & Nigel Haworth Northcote
Tim Bacon & Jeremy Roberts Living Ventures
Stephen Miles Radisson Edwardian
Jonathan Slater The Chester Grosvenor
Marc Wilkinson Restaurant Fraiche
Simon Rogan Lâ€™Enclume
NRB Top Fifty is organised by
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CELEBRATING THE BEST nrbtopfifty.co.uk
Published on Mar 16, 2016
Northern Restaurant and Bar Top Fifty Awards 2016. Celebrating the fifty top hospitality operators in the North and crowning three special a...