Industry pays tribute to Tim Bacon

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Industry pays tribute to Tim Bacon

Related tags: Living ventures, Manchester

Members of the industry have made tributes to 'vibrant, honourable and generous' Tim Bacon, chairman of Living Ventures Group, who died on Friday (29 April).

Bacon, who formed Living Ventures, the owner and operator of restaurant and bar brands Gusto, Alchemist, Australasia and Manchester House with Jeremy Roberts in 1993, had been battling cancer for 14 years. He was 52. 

Despite his illness, Bacon continued to drive forward the northern-based Living Ventures, growing the business into one with c£100m turnover and win a host of industry awards in recognition for his work. 

Last year he was named MCA's Retailers Retailer of the Year for a second time and he is included in the Boardroom​ section of Restaurant magazine's first Power List​, the list of the top 100 most powerful individuals in hospitality. He has also been a regular on the NRB Top 50 list​ for many years. 

Roberts paid tribute to his business partner following the news he had died 'suddenly but peacefully in his sleep' on Friday night. 

"Tim has made many enduring friendships with people in his private and professional life because of his vibrant, honourable and generous spirit. He gave his all to everything he did, especially to his family and his friends who were incredibly important to him. I will greatly miss him as we all will and I've lost a true friend," he said. 

Many others took to Twitter at the weekend to pay tribute to Bacon, who had a brief spell as an actor in Australia before moving to the UK to work as a bartender at TGI Friday's. 

Chef Aiden Byrne, who worked closely with Bacon to establish Manchester House, the restaurant he and Living Ventures jointly run, said Bacon's 'legend' would live on. 

Thom Hetherington, CEO of Holden Media, the company behind the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show, acknowledged the impact Bacon had on the bar and restaurant industry in the north.

Bacon's death came just over a week after announcing that he would be joining forces with Dave Hinds and Lee Lynch again to re-open their first ever Manchester site - JW Johnsons - as new bar Red Door. 

The trio, set up JW Johnsons in the early 1990s, followed  by Via Vita and Life Café across the UK, at which time they were joined by business partner Jeremy Roberts. Together, the trio spearheaded a revival of the dining scene in Manchester city centre. Those venues were sold to Whitbread in 1999 after which Hinds decided to concentrate on his property interests, leaving Bacon and Roberts to establish Living Ventures. 

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