New entries in this year's NRB power list include chefs, brewers and, er, Ryan Giggs

The North’s largest hospitality trade show, Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB), kicked off at Manchester Central today, and accompanying the usual crowd-pullers, from the Chef Live Theatre to the Craft Beer Quarter, was the release of this year’s NRB Top 50 Power List - a roundup of northern hospitality’s biggest influencers.

Announced during an invite-only awards ceremony, the list – whittled down by a panel and ‘deliberated through hours of research and judging’ – spans 210 brands, 1012 sites and over 21,800 employees.

25 new names made the cut for 2017; including Living Ventures director Simon Potts, Filmore & Union owner Adele Ashley and footballers-turned-hospitality gurus, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, for their work with GG Hospitality.

Alongside the Top Fifty, this year saw the presentation of three special awards: Jimmy del Guidice and Mark McQuater were chosen for taking on Revolution Bars and successfully overhauling the ailing brand; chef Gary Usher - of Sticky Walnut, Hispi and Burnt Truffle - was selected as ‘an individual who is living and breathing the model of what a contemporary restaurateur can be’; and Paul Moran and Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures, who, despite the loss of Tim Bacon, ‘the heart and soul of their team and business’, have powered the company forward.

READ: Take a look around Grand Pacific - Living Ventures' lavish new bar and restaurant

Thom Hetherington, CEO of Northern Restaurant and Bar organisers Holden Media, said: “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.”

Nrb Northern Restaurant Bar
NRB, Manchester Central


(listed alphabetically by surname and grouped by company - new entries in bold)

Sax Arshad, Director, Mughli

Haz Arshad, Director, Mughli

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

Paul Askew, Chef Patron, The Art School

Mohammed Aslam MBE, 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 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

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

Image top: NRB Tony Lyons, Kuits; Jimmy del Guidice, Revolution Bars; Paul Moran, Living Ventures; Gary usher, Sticky Walnut; Thom Hetherington, Holden Media web