Former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville will provide a glimpse into his second career as a hospitality operator when he takes part in the NRB Debate at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show next month.
Neville, the founder of GG Hospitality with fellow footballer Ryan Giggs, will be joined by creative director of the business, Michelin-starred chef Michael O'Hare (pictured).
Topics on the agenda are expected to include Neville's launch of Hotel Football, alongside Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium in 2015; the Café Football brand, which operates in two locations, with a third set to open at the National Football Museum (NFM) in Manchester later this year; and two further hotel developments, the 39-bedroom Stock Exchange in the city centre and the 201-bedroom property in the St Michael's development.
O'Hare, who has a Michelin star at his Leeds restaurant the Man Behind the Curtain, launched the Rabbit in the Moon with GG Hospitality at the NFM in December. His partnership with Neville and Giggs will expand with the launch of two further restaurants at the Stock Exchange.
Thom Hetherington, chief executive of Holden Media, organisers of the NRB Debate, said that Neville and O'Hare's articulate and strong-held opinions should make for a compelling debate. "What I admire about Gary and Michael is that despite their fierce commitment to the north, their ambitions are national and indeed international.
"With their significant plans for Hotel Football and Café Football, as well as the unique creativity and uncompromising excellence of Michael's own restaurants I think they will have a significant and arguably unique impact on the region's food and drink industry in the next few years."
The NRB Debate will be held on day one of the two day show which runs on 21 and 22 March at Manchester Central. Tickets for the 12noon event, which includes a buffet lunch, cost £55 plus VAT. Book online at nrbdebate.co.uk
The show, which is expected to feature 300 exhibitors, will be attended by around 7,500 visitors. Hospitality professionals can register for free tickets at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk