Northern Hospitality Power List Winners Announced 

Now in its ninth year, the Kuits NRB Top Fifty is an exciting power list of the North’s most significant and influential hospitality operators. The list, which reflects the industry’s impressive recent bounceback, features big names and rising stars, including four new entries and one re-entry and covers 212 brands, 1472 sites and over 24,500 employees, demonstrating the strength of the region’s hospitality scene.

The Kuits NRB Top Fifty 2022 has been announced today at Northern Restaurant & Bar 2022, the hospitality trade exhibition in Manchester, with the list featuring a mix of long-established names, up and coming talent and five new entries.Three special award winners were also revealed, highlighting those operators who have enjoyed a particularly impressive year.

Thom Hetherington, CEO of organisers Holden Media, says “It’s been an immensely challenging period for hospitality, but I think the North’s operators have demonstrated incredible tenacity, resilience and creativity to come through so strongly. I’m delighted to see the region’s leading restaurants, bars and pubs looking to the future with plans for new sites, new launches and new concepts, and it’s no surprise to see the recent industry data showing that new openings in Northern cities are running at twice the level of London.”

The three special achievement awards were presented to Simon Rogan of Umbel Restaurant Group, Adam Jones & Drew Jones at Tattu and Jamie Lawson, founder of Ossett Brewery

Jamie Lawson, Ossett Brewery

Judges said that this Yorkshire-based operator has 28 sites with a group turnover of £17million and more than 400 members of staff. Their innovative and multi-faceted approach to the traditional business of brewing and bars places them at the forefront of the industry.

Adam Jones & Drew JonesTattu

Judges commented that Tattu has quietly established itself as one of the most competent and confident brands in the industry, adored by its loyal audiences and with trading figures to match, and has recently announced plans to expand into London.

Simon Rogan, Umbel Restaurant Group

The judges stated that this operator is a true legend of Northern gastronomy, and has also opened successful restaurants in London and Hong Hong.  A twenty year journey has confirmed their position as one of the world’s great chefs and restaurateurs, culminating in an unprecedented three star accolade.

New entries in 2022 include the founders and directors of Archies, Common & Co, Dabangg, NQ64 and a welcome re-entry of Zanna Group. 

A panel of Northern hospitality experts in the fields of hospitality finance, accountancy, property, law and consultancy deliberated and cogitated through hours of research and pored over hundreds of pages of judging notes. 

As specialist legal and commercial advisors to the leisure and hospitality sector, Kuits has been proud to support and judge these awards for a number of years and this year have further bolstered their commitment by being involved in what is now the Kuits NRB Top Fifty Awards. 

“In what is a sought-after badge of honour in the industry, the hotly-anticipated Top Fifty 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, harnessing creativity, innovation and collaboration to propel brands forward. We are delighted to recognise 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,” said Felicity Tulloch, Head of Licensing, Kuits.

The Kuits NRB Top Fifty 2022 is sponsored by Biffa, Bruntwood, CGA, CPL Learning, Marsh Commercial, Metis Real Estate, NatWest, Uber Eats and Zellar and is supported by JW Lees and Imp & Maker.

The invitation only Kuits NRB Top Fifty awards receptiontook place at 3pm on Tuesday 15 March 2022 at Northern Restaurant & Bar.

Northern Restaurant & Bar 2022, sponsored by Uber Eats, will be the first major hospitality show of the year, providing a blast of momentum for the industry. Once again NRB will be bringing together operators and suppliers, promoting ideas and inspiration, representing and leading the sector in the North on 15-16 March 2022 at Manchester Central.

Kuits NRB Top Fifty 2022

(listed alphabetically by company)

Terry Laybourne, 21 Hospitality Group

James Baer, Amber Taverns

Gary Roberts, Amber Taverns

Anni Opong, Arc Inspirations

Chris Ure, Arc Inspirations

Martin Wolstencroft, Arc Inspirations


Amer Rafiq, Archies

Imran Rafiq, Archies

Irfan Rafiq, Archies

Asim Rafiq, Archies

Morgan Davies, Barburrito

Mark Husak, Bundobust

Mayur Patel, Bundobust

Rob Cameron, By The River Co / Wylam Brewery

Dave Stone, By The River Co / Wylam Brewery

David Soley, Camerons Brewery

Chris Soley, Camerons Brewery

Tim Bird, Cheshire Cat Pub & Bars

Mary Mclaughlin, Cheshire Cat Pub & Bars


Jonathan Heyes, Common & Co

Charlotte Heyes, Common & Co

Barry Ladhar, Crafted Projects

Michael Ladhar, Crafted Projects


Zack Issak, Dabangg

Richard Bailey Daniel Thwaites

Naveen Handa, East Coast Concepts

Vernon Lord, East Coast Concepts

Simon Shaw, El Gato Tapas / Mill Hill Developments

Gary Usher, Elite Bistros

Oliver Robinson, Frederic Robinson

William Robinson, Frederic Robinson

John Ennis, Graffiti Spirit

Matthew Farrell, Graffiti Spirit

Matt Snell, Gusto

Rob Bacon, Hickory’s Smokehouse

Jason Bligh, Hickory’s Smokehouse

Neil McDonnell, Hickory’s Smokehouse

John Welsh, Hickory’s Smokehouse

Ashley Kollakowski, Hit The North

Simon Stevens, Hit The North

Sean Donkin, Inn Collection Group

Ian Goulding, Inn Collection Group

James Warburton, James’ Places

William Lees Jones, JW Lees

Kit Graves, Lake District Hotels

Charles Graves, Lake District Hotels

Danielle Hope, Lake District Hotels

Paul Moran, Living Ventures

Jeremy Roberts, Living Ventures

James Bates, Maray

Dominic Jones, Maray

Thomas White, Maray

Nina Bigland, Milestone Group

Matt Bigland, Milestone Group

Roy Ellis, Mission Mars

Neil Macleod, Mission Mars

Nisha Katona, Mowgli Street Food

Lucy Nelson, Nelson Hotels

Andrew Nelson, Nelson Hotels

Jesper Friis, New World Trading Company

John Gyngell, North Bar / North Brewing

Christian Townsley, North Bar / North Brewing


Andy Haygarth, NQ64

Matt Robson, NQ64


Jamie Lawson, Ossett Brewery Pub Company

Jamie Hawksworth, Pivovar & Tapped Brew Co

Jonathon Holdsworth, Pivovar & Tapped Brew Co

Rob Pitcher, Revolution Bars Group

Ben Jones, Roxy Leisure

Matthew Jones, Roxy Leisure

Carlo Distefano, San Carlo Group

Marcello Distefano, San Carlo Group

Tomas Maunier, Southern Wind Group

Steve Pilling, St Joseph’s Ltd


Adam Jones, Tattu

Drew Jones, Tattu

Simon Potts, The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant

Jobe Ferguson, The Liars Club Group

Lyndon Higginson, The Liars Club Group

Ross Mackenzie, The Liars Club Group

Andrew Pern, The Star at Harome/Star Inn The City

Aaron Mellor, Tokyo Industries


Simon Rogan, Umbel Restaurant Group

Sarah Cook, Vaulkhard Group

Oliver Vaulkhard, Vaulkhard Group

Harry Vaulkhard, Vaulkhard Group

Andrew Wildsmith, Wildsmith Hotels


Sax Arshad, Zanna Group


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