Lyons, Sir Joseph

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LYONS, SIR JOSEPH (1848–1917), English caterer and founder of J. Lyons and Company. Lyons was born in London, educated in a Jewish school, and started his career as a watercolor painter, exhibiting at the Royal Institute. In 1887 he joined Alfred *Salmon, the brothers Montague, and Isidore *Gluckstein in founding the catering firm of J. Lyons and Company, of which he became the chairman. This concern began by catering at exhibitions, and in 1894 opened the first of many tea shops. It pioneered popular catering and developed into the largest catering establishment in Britain. Sir Joseph Lyons was deputy-lieutenant for the County of London. He was knighted in 1911. J. Lyons continued to be one of the best-known chains of cafeterias and tea shops in Britain for most of the 20th century.


P.H. Emden, Jews of Britain (1943), 486–90. add. bibliography: odnb online; dbb, 3, 888–89; S. Aris, The Jews in Business (1970), index.