The crème de la crème: NRB Top Fifty Power List 2017 announced

Thom Hetherington CEO Holden Media, Gary Usher, Sticky Walnut & Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors.
L-R Thom Hetherington CEO Holden Media, Gary Usher, Sticky Walnut & Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors.

The Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB) Top Fifty hospitality power list has been announced with a mix of long-established names and new entrants from Yorkshire and the North East.

THE Top Fifty covers 21 brands, 1,012 sites and over 21,800 employees operating in the north of England. It recognises the 50 most powerful companies in the region, as well as the individuals instrumental to those businesses.

Thom Hetherington chief executive officer of Holden Media, the organisers of NRB, said:  “This year’s list has shown steady churn with an influx of new entrants particularly from Yorkshire and the North East.

“In terms of volume, variety and sheer quality, Northern [England] food and drink lovers have never had it so good.”

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

Del Giudice and McQuater – chief operating officer and chief executive of Revolution Bars Group respectively – were chosen for taking on a brand that they knew required an overhaul, changing the offer and reaping the rewards.

L-R Thom Hetherington CEO Holden Media, Jimmy del Giudice, Revolution Bars & Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors
L-R Thom Hetherington CEO Holden Media, Jimmy del Giudice, Revolution Bars & Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors

Usher, who owns and runs Sticky Walnut in Chester, Burnt Truffle in Heswall on the Wirral, and Hispi in Didsbury, Manchester, was selected as an individual who is “living and breathing the model of what a contemporary restaurateur can be. He was commended for winning funding via crowd-sourcing, his legendary use of social media to market his business and for emphasising accessible, neighbourhood dining.

Moran and Roberts – managing director and chief executive of Living Ventures respectively – received the award for driving the business ahead in spite of the loss of co-founder Tim Bacon, who died last year aged just 52.

L-R Thom Hetherington CEO Holden Media, Paul Moran, Living Ventures & Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors.
L-R Thom Hetherington CEO Holden Media, Paul Moran, Living Ventures & Tony Lyons, Kuits Solicitors.

The Top 50 were chosen from a panel of Northern hospitality experts in the fields of hospitality finance, property, law and consultancy. They will now become 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 full NRB Top Fifty 2017 list:

Sax Arshad, director, Mughli
Haz Arshad, director, Mughli
Adele, Ashley, owner / head chef, Filmore & Union
Paul Askew, chef-patron, the Art School
Mohammed Aslam, owner, Aagrah Group
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
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
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
Sarah Cook, director, Vaulkhard Group
Harry Vaulkhard, director, Vaulkhard Group
Oliver Vaulkhard, director, Vaulkhard Group
Sue Crimes, MD, Gusto
Morgan Davies, founder / CEO, Barburrito
Stewart Davies, group operations director, GG Hospitality
Ryan Giggs, director, GG Hospitality
Gary Neville, director, GG Hospitality
Jimmy del Giudice, operations director, Revolution Bars Group
Mark McQuater, CEO, Revolution Bars Group
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
John Gyngell, director, North Bar / North Brewing Company
Christian Townsley, director, North Bar / North Brewing Company
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
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
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
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
Gary Usher, owner, Sticky Walnut
Steven Walker, CEO, Individual Restaurants
Marc Wilkinson, chef-patron, Restaurant Fraiche

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