There can’t be much that Giulian Alonzi, the owner of the Harbour Bar, doesn’t know about ice cream. Which is just as well, as he spends each day in the pristine, one-man factory at the back of the Harbour Bar making gallons of the stuff!
GHis equipment can make 500 litres an hour, and Giulian makes three or four batches a day, which will last for a couple of days if the sun keeps shining. As the sign above his Bar says: “We don’t keep ice cream. We sell it!”
The Alonzi family have been making and selling ice cream in Scarborough since the turn of the last century when Giulian’s paternal grandparents left their mountain village home, near Monte Cassino in Southern Italy. They first ran a small bar on Eastborough in Scarborough and a small fleet of ice cream barrows near the beach, with one barrow at the Spa end of Scarborough (the posh end!) charging tuppence a portion and and a second barrow near the Lifeboat House (the poorer end) charging a penny a portion.
The end of the Second World War saw the birth of the Harbour Bar, which then sold just ice cream and coffee and was run by Giulian’s mum and dad Tony and Annie, and his Auntie Lucy. They opened their doors on August Bank Holiday Saturday 1945, and sold out of everything in two hours and took £48!
Giulian was born and raised in the flat above the Harbour Bar, and started working there in his early teens along with his two sisters, Ann and Susanne. After training to be an accountant, he returned to the family business in the early 70s, and in the early 80s, with his parents almost retired, he and his gorgeous wife Theresa took over.
The couple continue to expand and improve the Harbour Bar, without changing the essence of the 1950s milk bar style. There are many original pieces with hand painted signs and pyramids of preserved fruit in jars, a tribute to earlier years where fresh fruit was hard to come by and had to be bottled by hand.
Despite the air of nostalgia Giulian and Theresa are very forward looking, continually experimenting with flavours and encouraging their staff to come up with new ideas.
The Harbour Bar is a member of the Ice Cream Alliance and has won many awards, including the Silver Challenge Cup for the best ice cream in the UK and the Gold Award for 50 years of membership.
Giulian doesn’t advertise much. His dad always said: “The only thing that sells ice cream is good ice cream.”