Tim Bacon, co-founder and chairman of bar and restaurant group Living Ventures, has died from cancer aged 52.
Living Ventures chief executive and co-founder Jeremy Roberts said: 'It is with incredible sadness that I have to announce the sad passing of Living Ventures chairman Tim Bacon, who died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep, on Friday night following a long illness.
'Tim has had 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.'
An Australian native, Bacon came to the UK in 1987 and started bartending at TGI Fridays before setting up his own business. He set up JW Johnson's in Manchester with Dave Hinds in 1993, and Roberts came on board to roll out café restaurant brand Via Vita around the UK and take over Life Café in Liverpool. Then in 1999, Hinds left the partnership, and Bacon and Roberts opened The Living Room and founded the now-famous Northern hospitality group, Living Ventures.
The company currently operates 34 sites across the UK, including such brands as Gusto, The Alchemist and New World Trading Company, plus Manchester restaurants Australasia and Manchester House. It was recently announced that a new Red Door bar is to open in Deansgate in Manchester, below a Botanist unit that used to be JW Johnson's.