NRB Top 50 power list 2019 revealed

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Nisha Katona (centre) accepting her special award from Holden Media CEO Thom Hetherington (left) and Tony Lyons of Kuits (right)
Nisha Katona (centre) accepting her special award from Holden Media CEO Thom Hetherington (left) and Tony Lyons of Kuits (right)

Related tags: NRB Top 50 power list, Awards

Nisha Katona, Gary Usher, Simon Rogan and Carlo Distefano have all been recognised on this year’s NRB Top 50 power list.

The full list, which recognises the most influential operators in the North of England, was announced at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show in Manchester today (19 March).

Katona was one of three special award winners recognised for having enjoyed a particularly successful year. Her Mowgli concept, which was founded in Liverpool in 2014, has now expanded to several locations across the North and in Oxford, with new sites set to open in Cardiff, Sheffield and Leicester this year.

Also recognised with a special award were North Brew Company founders John Gyngell and Christian Townsley for their “level of sustained commercial and critical progress in 2018/19”, and Chris Hill, managing director of the New World Trading Company, who is credited with an “impressive roll-out” to more than six sites in the last year.

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

“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.”

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

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

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, 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

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER​ - Chris Hill, CEO, New World Trading Company

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, Tattu

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, Ossett Brewery Pub Company

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, Gracious Development Group

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

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

Andrew Wildsmith, Founder, Wildsmith Hotels

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