You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Sunday 5 July 2015

Young Achievers of the Year 2007

23rd May, 2007 by db_staff

underdogsWill Beckett & Huw Gott, owners and founders of the Underdog Group

Although yet to celebrate their 30th birthdays, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, better-known as the Underdog Group, have opened three of London’s most talked about venues in the past 18 months: Green & Red, Hawksmoor and The Marquess Tavern.

Since setting up their first bar, The Redchurch, in 2003, Beckett and Gott have been responsible for upping the profile of Tequila and restoring consumer faith in Mexican food. Becket says: “We are passionate about what we do. Mexican food, traditional British food, steak, cocktails, wine and beer were personal interests long before they became business concepts.”

The pair have also set up their own consultancy business advising people on how to set up and run a licensed business. The recently opened Hideaway bar in Archway, north London, was their first project.

The company also has plans to launch the Underdog training programme “to provide people with the necessary training and qualifications to have a long, successful career in the bar industry”. Beckett will be publishing his first book, An Appetite for Ale, later on this year.

One of the judges said: “These two show obvious commercial talent, they have expanded their business incredibly quickly in a difficult environment. They have demonstrated a talent for consumer targeting, an entrepreneurial spirit and managed to make the transition into consultancy pretty seamlessly – a formidable partnership.”

A late-licence DJ venue at the top of London’s Brick Lane, The Redchurch taught Will Beckett and Huw Gott all there is to know about running a bar. “We did everything. We bar-backed, tended bar, cooked and cleaned. We got the accounts incredibly wrong, then worked out how to get them right,” says Beckett.

Green & Red
After realising that the bar opposite The Redchurch was going under, the pair decided to open Green & Red in November 2005, working alongside tequila gurus Henry Besant and Dre Masso of The Worldwide Cocktail Club. “With Green & Red we saw an opportunity to do decent, authentic Mexican food and have some fun with tequila. Both Mexican food and Tequila have a very bad image in the UK, so we were having to challenge people’s preconceptions,” says Gott.

The Marquess Tavern and The Hawksmoor
“Don’t open two venues at the same time,” says Beckett. But that’s exactly what Underdog did last year, opening The Marquess Tavern – a quintessential British pub in Canonbury – and the Hawksmoor – an old-fashioned American style cocktail bar/steakhouse on Commercial Street.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Diageo 'shelves' £240m Chinese scheme

Swellfun, the Chinese subsidiary of drinks giant Diageo, has reportedly more...

The week in pictures

Pub-friendly pooches, Kevin Spacey and a one-off tasting of Achaval Ferrer more...

The Proust Q&A: Darren Rathbone

The CEO and group chief winemaker of the Rathbone Group talks to db about more...

Social Media Editor


Is fine wine turning a corner?

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index is finally showing a year-on-year gain as it more...

English fizz attracts new deal

English sparkling wine producer Jenkyn Place has stepped up its ambitions by more...

How to drink like a billionaire

With access to tropical islands, private yachts and the best food and drink more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

Pub landlord kills customer with ironing board

A pub landlord has been found guilty of killing a wealthy American customer by more...

Coors Light heads home

Sometimes, the route to excellence is a process of devolution rather than more...

UK vineyards included in tax relief scheme

Winemakers in the UK will be able to benefit from income tax changes for the more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

Champagne needs to 'create a new occasion'

Champagne needs to "create a new occasion" and better communicate its brand if more...

US wine brand hopes to ape craft beer success

A wine brand from California is hoping to ape craft beer’s success in the UK more...

Copa América: Malbec vs Carmenère

Saturday sees Chile and Argentina go head-to-head in football’s Copa América more...

UK Sales Manager

London, United Kingdom

Tour de l'Oc raises £30k for charity

Last month’s Tour de l’Oc bicycle challenge across France has raised over more...

Californian wine struggling with supply

There is a "growing mismatch" between supply and demand that is badly hampering more...

Fine dining resto to serve wine on tap

Proving that the trend in the UK has spread beyond casual dining venues, fine more...

Business Development Executive

London, United Kingdom

£25-£30K + benefits, depending on experience

Trend for UK casual dining on the rise

The UK restaurant market is entering an era of "premiumised informality" with more...

Hong Kong: Red obsession

While whites are starting to be taken seriously in Hong Kong restaurants, the more...

Is Parker wrong about the 05 Médocs?

With no Médoc wines gaining 100-points in Robert Parker’s retrospective of more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom


Venezuela faces beer drought

Venezuela could soon entirely run out of beer as workers at the country's more...

Molson Coors UK acquires Rekorderlig

Molson Coors UK has acquired the rights to Swedish cider Rekorderlig in the UK more...