New entries include Evuna's Jane Dowler and the Tattu brothers

THE Northern Restaurant Bar (NRB) show has revealed its Top 50 Northern hospitality players for 2019, with three special award winners and six new entries joining the well-established list.

The list, which spans over 212 brands, 1527 sites and 22,840 employees, is chosen by a panel of industry experts and announced during the trade show at Manchester Central - the largest such hospitality event in the North.

The hotly-anticipated list provides an important platform for the most exciting and influential new and established operators in the hospitality industry

The three special achievement awards were presented to Chris Hill of New World Trading Company, John Gyngell & Christian Townsley from North Brew Co and Nisha Katona of Mowlgi Street Food.

New entries this year include the founders and directors of Daniel ThwaitesEvunaTattuOssett Brewery Pub CompanyInn Collection Group, and Gracious Development Group. 

They join the ranks alongside the likes of Carlo and Marcello Distefano of the San Carlo Group, William Lees Jones of JW Lees Brewery, Martin Wolstencroft of Arc Inspirations, Joycelyn Neve of Seafood Pub Company and Adelaide Winter of Mission Mars.

(You can see the list in full below.)

Kuits Nrb Top Fifty Thom Hetherington Nisha Katona Tony Lyonsof Kuits
Nisha Katona of Mowgli is presented with a special achievement award by NRB organiser Thom Hetherington (left) and Tony Lyons of sponsors Kuits

Thom Hetherington, CEO of NRB organisers Holden Media, said: “It’s been another strong year for the North’s leading operators, driving the industry forward with a balance of expansion, innovation and consolidation. 

"Recent data from CGA show that the restaurant and bar scene in the major Northern cities is far outperforming London, and I think that a combination of lower costs and a better lifestyle mean more and more operators are choosing to build their businesses in the North.”

Felicity Tulloch of sponsors Kuits said: "The hotly-anticipated list provides an important platform for the most exciting and influential new and established operators in the hospitality industry – a sector that is continuing to thrive in the UK, harnessing creativity, innovation and collaboration to propel brands forward amidst the increased political and economic pressures we’ve seen of late. 

"We are delighted to present here those operators we feel are really making waves in what is a constantly evolving market. Thank you for helping to make the North the best place to eat, sleep and drink in the UK."

Kuits Nrb Top Fifty Thom Hetherington John Gyngell Tony Lyonsof Kuits
John Gyngell of North Brewing Company was also presented with a special achievement award

Kuits NRB Top Fifty 2019:

(listed alphabetically by surname and grouped by company)

Adele Ashley, Owner, Filmore & Union

Paul Askew, Chef Patron, The Art School

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

James Baer, Managing Director, Amber Taverns

Gary Roberts, Operations Director, Amber Taverns

NEW ENTRY Richard Bailey, Director, Daniel Thwaites

Craig Bancroft, Managing Director, Northcote

Lisa Goodwin Allen, Executive Chef, Northcote

Tim Bird, Owner, Cheshire Cat Pub & Bars

Mary Mclaughlin, Owner, Cheshire Cat Pub & Bars

Ken Buckley, Managing Director, Bravo Inns

Phil Dearden, Finance Director, Bravo Inns

Sarah Cook, Director, Vaulkhard Group

Harry Vaulkhard, Director, Vaulkhard Group

Oliver Vaulkhard, Director, Vaulkhard Group

Morgan Davies, Founder / CEO, Barburrito

Carlo Distefano, Chairman, San Carlo Group

Marcello Distefano, Managing Director, San Carlo Group

Marcello (left) and Carlo (centre right) Distefano of the San Carlo GroupMarcello (left) and Carlo (centre right) Distefano of the San Carlo Group

NEW ENTRY Sean Donkin, Managing Director, Inn Collection Group

Ian Goulding, Chairman, Inn Collection Group

Keith Liddell, Executive Deputy Chairman, Inn Collection Group

NEW ENTRY Jane Dowler, Founder, Evuna

Roy Ellis, Director, Mission Mars

Neil Macleod, Director, Mission Mars

Joel Wilkinson, Director, Mission Mars

Adelaide Winter, Director, Mission Mars

John Ennis, Owner, Graffiti Spirit

Matthew, Farrell, Owner, Graffiti Spirit

Jobe Ferguson, Director, Blackdog Ballroom & The Liars Club

Lyndon Higginson, Director, Blackdog Ballroom & The Liars Club

Ross Mackenzie, Director, Blackdog Ballroom & The Liars Club

161107-Crazy-Pedros-Northern-Quarter-12-LYNDON-HIGGINSON-JOBE-FERGUSON-ROSS-MACKENZIE.jpg#asset:310667L-R: Lyndon, Jobe and Ross of The Liars Group

Kit Graves, Director, Lake District Hotels

Charles Graves, Director, Lake District Hotels

Dani Hope, Sales & Marketing Director, Lake District Hotels

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER John Gyngell, Director & Christian Townsley, Director, North Bar / North Brewing Company

Jamie Hawksworth, Owner, Pivovar / The Tapped Brew Co

Jonathon Holdsworth, Founder, Pivovar / The Tapped Brew Co


James Hitchen, Founder, East Coast Concepts

Guy Hitchen, Founder, East Concepts

Chris Hopkins, MD, Hydes Brewery

Marko Husak, Founder, Bundobust

Mayur Patel, Founder, Bundobust

NEW ENTRY Adam Jones, Managing Director & Drew Jones, Marketing Director, Tattu

Matthew Jones, Managing Director, Roxy Leisure

Ben Jones, Managing Director, Concept Taverns

Ashley Kollakowski, Rose Four Group

Simon Stevens, Rose Four Group

Barry Ladhar, Crafted Projects

Michael Ladhar, Crafted Projects

NEW ENTRY Bob Lawson, Chairman & Jamie Lawson, Owner, Ossett Brewery Pub Company

Terry Laybourne, Owner, 21 Hospitality Group

William Lees Jones, Managing Director, JW Lees

Simon Lees Jones, Director, JW Lees

NEW ENTRY Daniel Murphy, Director & Ryan McMahon, Director, Gracious Development Group

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER Nisha Katona, Founder, Mowgli Street Food

Tomas Maunier, Director, Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill

Robert Melman, Director, Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill

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


Joycelyn Neve of Seafood Pub Co.

Andrew Pern, Owner / Executive Chef, The Star at Harome/Star Inn The City

Steve Pilling, Co Owner, Damson Group

RE-ENTRY Rob Pitcher, CEO, Revolution Bars 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, Robinson’s Brewery

William Robinson, Director, Robinson’s Brewery

Simon Rogan, Co Owner, Umbel Restaurant Group

RE-ENTRY Matt Snell, Managing Director, Gusto

Chris Soley, Chief Executive, Camerons Brewery

David Soley, Chairman, Camerons Brewery

Chris Ure, Owner, Arc Inspirations

Martin Wolstencroft, Managing Director / Owner, Arc Inspirations

Gary Usher, Owner, Elite Bistros

Steven Walker, CEO, Individual Restaurants

James Warburton, James’s Places