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The Team
We’re a merry bunch of five shareholders and operational heads.

We haven’t always been good friends. In true Bristol fashion, there were many connections and social links between us all but what finally brought us together was a love of hospitality and a shared vision for what makes for a decent local. That and many happy hours spent at the bar talking about it…

Chris Nelson

Shareholder & Managing Director

Initially employed by Zazu’s as the GM of their second restaurant site in Southville, “Jazz Hands” progressed to Operations Manager in 2015 and was appointed Managing Director in Autumn 2017. Chris started in hospitality fourteen years ago, and has worked in avariety of establishments from cocktails bars to silver service upmarket restaurants to nightclubs. He gained invaluable operational expertise with giants Mitchells and Butlers, working his way through the ranks to Assistant General Manager at several flagship sites.

Toby Bywater

Co-founder & Exec director

After nine years as a professional promoter and DJ with residencies at Ministry of Sound, Toby began his hospitality career in the restaurant & bar trade as Maitre D for the opening of No1 Pimlicos in Stratford upon Avon before rising to AGM. He was headhunted by Peach Pubs to open their flagship site in nearby Warwick, later joining Brasserie Blanc in Cheltenham to train staff before, five years later, moving to Bristol to train staff for their largest project to date in Cabot Circus. He realized his ambition to own his own restaurant/bar when taking on the first Zazu’s site in Stokes Croft, Bristol in 2011 before teaming up with his new partners.

James Savage

Co-founder & Exec director

James has a 25-year track record of successful and acclaimed openings in the hospitality industry, starting with night clubs and cocktail bars in the early 90’s and now pubs and restaurants. The company’s co-founder has an outstanding record of opening new, vibrant and well received food & hospitality outlets

John Kingston

Co-founder & Non-exec director

John was one of the original team behind the hugely successful Cult Clothing / Superdry fashion chain and helped build the business from one branch to over 69 stores and 110 concessions. As Head of Retail, John’s main responsibility was managing the company’s accelerated growth including promoting and hiring an area management team, organising a VM team to manage the visual aspect of the stores, a store opening team, HR liaison and hiring a retail operations team. His core skills include: people management; customer service management and training; new system integration and implementation.

Dougal Templeton

Shareholder & Chair

Originally a trained journalist, Dougal has launched, built and sold numerous successful businesses including Venue Magazine, the iconic Bristol entertainment magazine; co-founded E3 Media in Bristol, now the 2nd largest independent digital agency in the UK; co-founded the Vouchercloud discount app bought by Vodafone Group; co-founded Goldbrick House bar & restaurant in Bristol and Wildfire Comms, a small independent print & digital magazine company. In 2016, Dougal co-founded Bristol 24/7, a community interest company, which publishes Bristol 24/7 ents & news site.

Meg Taylor

Operations Director

Having been brought up in a pub – her parents own the legendary Soho haunt The Toucan – Meg moved to Bristol from London in 2014 to manage The Star and Dove (And Historical Dining Rooms) before joining Zazu’s as Assistant Manager, quickly rising to General Manager, Regional Ops Manager and now Head of Operations. Growing with the company, Meg bring passion and precision to the party.