NRB TOP 2012 THE BEST OF NORTHERN OPERATORS
Welcome to the inaugural NRB50, the first list to highlight the most important and influential individuals within the Northern hospitality industry. Despite the economic climate the Northâ€™s food and drink industry has remained remarkably resilient and we felt this was an opportune time to recognise and reward those who have not just survived but thrived during these challenging times and who will be leading the charge in 2012 and beyond. The NRB Top 50 list is chosen by an anonymous panel of industry experts from associations, educational establishments, media and consultants who have many years of experience with the Northern hospitality industry. They were asked to consider those who have made a significant impact in their businesses, driving commercial and critical success, creating employment, training and investment, as well as creating profile and prestige for our region and our industry. To those included in this prestigious list I say congratulations, and to the judges and of course our generous sponsors I say a heartfelt thank you for your time and support. We expect this list, and indeed the reception itself, to evolve and to grow year on year, so we wish you all the very best of luck in your businesses over the next twelve months, and hope to see you back at Northern Restaurant and Bar for the second NRB50 in 2013.
Thom Hetherington Managing Director, Northern Restaurant & Bar Sponsored by
Many thanks for supplying the wine at reception
Martin Ainscough Owner, Ainscough Restaurants
Tim Bacon Managing Director, Living Ventures
Martin started Ainscough restaurants with sister Helen 17 years ago. The group now consists of five country food pubs and two restaurants with rooms in Liverpool and Windermere.
Established in 1871, Mitchell’s of Lancaster (Brewers) is a family run, pub and hotel company based around Lancashire and Cumbria. The company was passed to Jonathan Barker in 2008, who continues to retain the family traditions of running good quality establishments.
Paul Askew Chef Patron, The London Carriageworks Tim launched Living Ventures with co-founder Jeremy Roberts in 1999 and now have 26 sites employing over 1000 people with brands including recent openings Australasia, The Alchemist and The Oast House.
Paul is chef patron of The London Carriageworks in Liverpool. He is also Chairman of the Tourism Business Network, specifically as Food Tourism champion as well as a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts and Merseyside Patron for the North West Fine Foods.
Craig Bancroft Joint MD, Northcote Manor
Simon Berry Managing Director, English Lakes Hotels English Lakes Hotels is a family-run group of individually styled threeand four-star hotels in and around the Lake District. They cater for both the tourist and conference markets.
Tim Berry Director, English Lakes Hotels Tim is a director with the south-lakes hotel chain and is responsible for energy reduction and climate change issues within the group.
Jerry Brunning Owner, Brunning & Price
Mohammed Aslam MBE Owner, Aagrah Group of Restaurants Mohammed Aslam, Managing Director and Executive Chef of the Aagrah Group of Restaurants, was honoured with an MBE in recognition for his services to the hospitality industry in 2010. Aagrah is made up of 15 restaurants across Yorkshire.
Jonathan Barker Joint Managing Director, Mitchells of Lancaster
Craig took up the challenge of making Northcote Manor one of the most reputable hotel restaurants in the North West and was joined by Nigel Haworth. The combination of improved service and quality wine list helped them gain the restaurant’s Michelin star in 1996. Ribble Valley Inns is the latest addition to the Northcote Group with four dining pubs.
Made up of 14 pub restaurants in North Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire, and the south east of England, Brunning & Price was voted Pub Group of the year in 2007 by the Good Pub Guide.
Andrew Buchanan Operations Director, Daniel Thwaites
Operations director for Lancashirebased brewer Thwaites since 2008, Andrew is responsible for ensuring the successful running of over 340 tenanted pubs. Prior to being appointed by the familyowned brewer, Andrew was the managing director of La Tasca and operations director at both Spirit and Scottish and Newcastle Retail.
Ken Buckley Managing Director, Bravo Inns Ltd Ken is a pub industry ‘lifer’ having spent 35 years in the industry ending as a Director with Greenalls Group Plc. Bravo Inns was formed in 2007 and has 27 pubs and continues to expand at approximately seven acquisitions per year.
Jake Burger Owner, Jake’s Bar & Grill Jake Burger is a bartender’s bartender and has long been recognised as one of the UK’s leading figures in the cocktail world.
Marie Carter Owner, Socio Rehab
Carlo Distefano Chairman, San Carlo Group
The business minded, astute and some would say sane side of Beautiful Drinks, Marie Carter gained her industry know how and panache with Scottish and Newcastle Retail and Bacardi Brown Forman Brands. Marie founded the instantly successful Home Sweet Home in 2011, expansion is already underway.
James Crawfurd Porter Managing Director, Tadcaster Pub Company James started with Commer Inns in 1993 and was appointed a Director in 1996, and Managing Director in 1999. After the sale of Commer Inns in 2001 James went into partmership with Jim Walsh to launch Tadcaster Pub Company.
Lynne D’Arcy Managing Director, Trust Inns Ltd In 2010 Lynne left Admiral Taverns to become Managing Director with Trust Inns to oversee 462 pubs, She also chairs CBI North West.
Carlo Distefano’s passion for quality has been key to his success as one of the UK’s leading restaurateurs. With his sons Marcello and Alessandro, joining him in 2004, the San Carlo brand now has nine award winning UK restaurants, with increasing franchise operations in the Middle-East and Asia. San Carlo Manchester, the flagship restaurant, is celebrated as being one of the busiest restaurants across the UK.
Marcello Distefano Managing Director, San Carlo Group
Morgan Davies Co-Owner, Barburrito Following the success of Globe Delivery (a multi-cuisine take-away service), co-founded Barburrito, the UK’s first burrito bar, with business partner Paul Kilpatrick in 2005. Having expanded to six sites across the north-west, they are planning to launch in London this year and continue with the company’s mission to be the most loved burrito brand on the planet. The UK burrito sector is taking off and, with a passion for great value, healthy food, excellent service and cool restaurants, Barburrito is well placed to lead the way.
Marcello Distefano, Director of San Carlo Restaurant Group; joined his father in 2004 to grow the business to nine award winning restaurants. As well as overseeing the franchise operations in the Middle East and Asia, he created and developed the new concept, San Carlo Cicchetti, which was voted ‘Best Newcomer 2011’. He is now expanding San Carlo Cicchetti across the UK.
Iain Donald Operations Director, Individual Restaurant Company
Mal Evans Owner, Mojo Bars
David Fox Owner, Tampopo
Whilst working at Est Est Est he was instrumental in the expansion of the chain to 25 restaurants, and on joining the Individual Restaurant Company put the same skills to work on rolling out the group’s two brands – Piccolino and Bar & Grill.
David set up Tampopo with his business partner Nick Jeffrey in 1997 after touring south-east Asia. Unlike most businesses which start off in London, they chose Manchester. The chain brings authentic tastes of south-east Asia through healthy, high-quality food at value for money prices with quick, friendly service.
Sarah Dunning Chief Executive, Westmorland Ltd
Nigel Haworth Chef Patron, Northcote Manor
Sarah is Chief Executive of Westmorland Limited in Cumbria, which runs Tebay Services and the Rheged Centre. Westmorland differentiates itself by emphasising its strong Cumbrian connections. Sarah was appointed Chief Executive in 2005, and on behalf of the company won the Institute of Directors’ Award for Brtiain’s Best Family Business in 2010.
Roy Ellis CEO & Director, Inventive Leisure Roy and business partner Neil Macleod founded Inventive Leisure in 1991. A specialist bar and nightclub operator whose unique selling point lies in the wide range of vodkas offered through its Revolution-branded bars.
Legendary bar operator Mal Evans; self taught mixologist of the highest order is celebrating his 25th anniversary in the industry on a high. As well as scooping the Chairman’s prize at the recent Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards, his MOJO bars are the current holders of the CLASSAwards Best of the Best and Best Good Time Award.
Anthony Flinn Chef Patron, Anthony’s Restaurant
After working at Abac and El Bulli in Spain Anthony opened Anthony’s Restaurant in Leeds, with the business backing of his father and followed it up with two more restaurants, Anthony’s at Flannels and Anthony’s Patisserie. In November 2008, a fourth restaurant, the Piazza by Anthony, opened in Leeds Corn Exchange.
In 1984 he began as Head Chef at Northcote Manor and in 1989 became joint Managing Director. Nigel was awarded Michelin Star in 1996 and successfully retained to this day. A chef of great skill, he is now a regular on television screens with Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen. Ribble Valley Inns is the latest addition to the Northcote Group with four dining pubs.
Paul Heathcote Chef Patron, Heathcotes
Nick Jeffrey Owner, Tampopo Back in 1997 Nick and his future business partner David Fox decided they could make a business from their experiences traveling. Tampopo was born , based on the staples of noodles and rice as they sought to bring a taste of Asia to Manchester.
21 years ago Paul opened his first restaurant in Longridge and is the only chef ever in the North West to be awarded two Michelin Stars and Egon Ronay Chef of the Year. Paul has two other restaurants in Preston, Heathcotes Brasserie and the original Olive Press beside Heathcotes Outside sporting arenas. In 2009 Paul was awarded an MBE for his contribution to the Hospitality Industry.
Chris Hopkins Managing Director, Hydes Brewery
William Lees Jones Managing Director, J W Lees
Richard Kershaw Managing Director, Joseph Holts Richard joined the board in 1980 and is the great grandson of original founder Joseph Holt. He has been Chief Executive since 2000. The brand has over 20 draught, bottled and canned beers and 127 pubs across Greater Manchester.
Terry Laybourne MBE Chef Patron, 21 Hospitality Group
William Lees-Jones is Group Managing Director of JW Lees, owners of JW Lees Brewery, JW Lees Pubs, Lees Pubs SARL, The Alderley Edge Hotel, The Trearddur Bay Hotel and Willoughby’s Wine Merchants. William then returned to the North West to join JW Lees in 1994 where he was appointed Sales & Marketing Director in 1996. He became Joint Managing Director in 2000 and Group Managing Director in 2003.
Neil Macleod Director, Inventive Leisure Neil and business partner Roy Ellis founded Inventive Leisure in 1991. A specialist bar and nightclub operator whose unique selling point lies in the wide range of vodkas offered through its Revolutionbranded bars.
Chris has been Managing Director of Hydes Brewery since 1998 having previously worked with Whitbread, Courage and Scottish and Newcastle. Hydes is one of the few British regional breweries that is still owned and managed as a family business. It has an estate of 66 Managed and tenanted pubs across the North West, and a growing portfolio of own-brewed beers.
Since opening his first restaurant in Newcastle in 1988 and winning a Michelin start three years later, chef and restaurateur Terry Laybourne has become a North East institution and one of the UK’s most highly regarded chefs. His 21 Hospitality Group now operates five restaurants including his flagship Café 21. He received an MBE for his contribution to the restaurant industry and tourism.
Beau Myers Owner, Socio Rehab
Si Ord Owner, Sandinista
Graham Price Owner, Brunning & Price
Owner of Socio Rehab, Keko Moku, HomeSweetHome and AlmostFamous. Inspiration behind Manchester bar legends Socio Rehab & Keko Moku Beau Myers describes himself as a cocktail maverick and underground boozey trendsetter. He is currently developing new offerings in both Manchester and Liverpool.
Si Ord is a director of three very popular bars in Leeds and Manchester – Sandinista, the Nicaraguan-themed tapas and cocktail bar on Cross Belgrave Street and Smokestack.
Graham joined Allied Breweries as a commercial graduate trainee in 1983 and ended up running nineteen managed houses, which was enough to convince him that he could run his own ship. He struck out in 1986 to form Associated Inns Ltd with his father purchasing the Middle House Hotel in Mayfield, Sussex. In 1988 he joined Jerry in Brunning & Price as a partner and purchased a 26% share, selling the Middle House to devote his energies full time to the company.
Paul Newman Partner, The Lord Binning Pub & Kitchen / The New Moon Pub Co
Paul Newman is an accomplished restaurant and bar based sales & marketeer and operator with more than 25 years experience in the wines and spirit, drinks brands and bar & restaurant industries.
Eammon O’Loughlin Owner, Eclectic Hotels As owner of Eclectic Hotels, Eamonn oversees the running of three uniquely styled and furnished hotels. Great John Street, Manchester, Didsbury House and Eleven Didsbury Park.
Andrew Pern Chef Patron, Star at Harome
Jeremy Roberts Commercial Director, Living Ventures
Andrew Pern is the chef-proprietor of the 34-seat Star Inn at Harome, near Helmsley in North Yorkshire. The Perns have built up a mini-empire in Harome that includes the Pheasant hotel, just 200 yards from the Star Inn, and a gourmet village shop and deli. Until recently they also ran an upmarket tearoom at Scampston and a butcher’s shop in nearby Helmsley. He appeared in the 2011 Great British Menu BBC TV series and won the North East final.
Clive Preston Chairman, Amber Taverns Clive founded Amber Taverns in 2005 and today owns and manages 70 pubs in the north of England. Using a recipe of buying closed or struggling pubs in lively areas and turning them into successful businesses with Sky TV and competitively priced drinks.
Jeremy launched Living Ventures with co-founder Tim Bacon in 1999 and now have 26 sites employing over 1000 people with brands including recent openings Australasia, The Alchemist and The Oast House.
Oliver Robinson Commercial Director Frederic Robinson
Jonathan Slater Managing Director, The Chester Grosvenor
Richard Smith Chef Patron, Relax Eat & Drink
Jonathan has been at the helm of The Chester Grosvenor since 1st August 1983. During the late 1980’s he personally supervised every aspect of a multi million pound refurbishment and the creation of two award winning restaurants, La Brasserie and Arkle – since renamed Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor. An inexhaustible supporter of tourism to the UK and Cheshire, his other roles include directorship of Visit Chester & Cheshire and of the Chester and Cheshire Conference Bureau.
“smithy” went to catering college in Buxton, then spent the next decade cooking all over the UK and America ,then back home to Sheffield, opening his first restaurant in 95. 17 years on he has a portfolio of nine unique establishments; Artisan, Beauchief Hotel, The Cricket Inn, Eccy Rd bar & kitchen, Relish, The Inn at Troway, Thyme cafe, Rose Garden and LSJ special events.
Oliver is the commercial director of the brewery and a member of the sixth generation to work for Frederic Robinson Brewery. Today the company owns 400 pubs throughout the north-west and the family shows no signs of slowing down.
Peter Robinson Chairman, Frederic Robinson Robinsons is one the UK’s largest family brewers, with 360 pubs across the North West and Wales. Peter joined the business as part of the 5th generation in the 1950s and continued to grow the company.
Simon Rogan Chef Patron, L’Enclume & Roganic
Simon Rogan moved to the picturesque village of Cartmel, Cumbria, in 2002 to set up L’Enclume, the restaurant with rooms which has since garnered a host of accolades – a Michelin star since 2005, five rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide, and 9/10 in the Good Food Guide (as well as number two restaurant in the UK). In June 2011 Simon opened Roganic, in London to critical acclaim, as well as winning BMW Square Meal Best New Restaurant award of 2011.
Steven Walker CEO, Individual Restaurant Company Founder of Manchester’s Sugar lounge bar and the Est Est Est restaurant chain, Steven has now added Bar & Grill and Piccolino to his growing portfolio of establishments which stretch across the UK.
Roger Ward Owner, The Victorian Chophouse Company
Martin Wolstencroft Managing Director, Arc Inspirations
Roger is owner of Manchester’s Victorian Chop House Company. With a background in advertising, in 2000 Roger decided to stop developing other peoples’ brands and create his own. The Victorian Chop House Company was born and now includes Sam’s Chop House in Manchester and Leeds and Mr Thomas’s Chop House Manchester.
Joel Wilkinson Owner, Trof
Martin became Whitbread’s youngest manager in 1992 and by 1998 was High street area manager and new concept development manager. In 2000 he set up Arc Inspirations which is now made up of Arc, The Box, Trio Bar & Grill, Skippy’s, The Hub and Banyan Bar and Kitchen.
Stewart Yip Owner, Red Chilli
Manchester born Joel and his wife Adelaide founded Zecol Ltd in 2001 when they opened the first Trof bar in Fallowfield. Since then they have opened 5 more across the city that operate as pubs, bars, live music venues and event spaces. Two more venues set to open in Manchester in the next 12 months. Joel also owns a record label call Suffering Juke Box that has been featured on Hugh Stevens Radio 1 show and has artists in the UK, US and Japan.
Stewart is a Manchester entrepreneur whose portfolio of businesses includes the Chi Yip supermarkets. He also owns the Ocean Treasure restaurant, Red Chilli restaurant chain, Manchester 235 casino and K2, and a three-floor karaoke bar in Manchester’s Chinatown.
The NRB Top50 Awards Booklet 2012. Celebrating the very best Northern hospitality operators.