Cardiff’s thriving food and art scene is being celebrated this week in one of the city’s trendiest social spots. Art Alfresco – Mil Lane Arts Week, launched on Monday in the café quarter ion Mil Lane and comes to an exciting conclusion on Friday and Saturday at Giovanni’s Mill Lane Studios.
The Famous restauranteur, Pioneer of the first purpose-built café quarter in the UK, whose Italian eating spot is just around the corner from Mill Lane, is helping to bring a touch of European culture to the popular café quarter.
However, the area hasn’t always been a cosmopolitan attraction. It was as long as 25 years ago that the street began to transform into the bustling food and social scene it is today.
Once a busy industrial area with an iron foundry, Mill Lane slowly transitioned into a market street with hotels and pubs. Today it’s one of the city’s top destinations for al-fresco dining, shopping and nightlife. And part of the change began with the efforts of entrepreneur and restaurateur, Giovanni Malacrino. He spent months trying to persuade Cardiff Council to support his vision after setting up his restaurant there. He even made a scale model of the proposal and left it at the council offices for planners to consider. After trading in the area for more than three decades, Giovanni’s on the Haynes is today the longest established independent Italian restaurants in the City.
Business has always been Giovanni’s passion – his parents owned a chip shop in Gagetown called Malacrino where he worked as a child. At age 18 he started running his first VIP nightclub called Fatsos, then moved to America to work on luxury cruise liners.
After meeting a now dear friend ‘Ron Bird’ on the cruise, he went on to open a business called ‘Fox and Hounds’ in New Jersey ON his return to his hometown of Cardiff, Giovanni started selling Ice cream and soon became one of the city’s best-known sellers.
He then fell in love with a building on the Hates which housed a cade called Planters and was owned by Brian Fry. It was the perfect location for his first Italian restaurant, that served authentic, quality Italian food.
Following the success of the first restaurant Gio expanded and launched continentals, Latinos and No.10 nigh club.
And while Giovanni’s restaurant is no longer on Mill Lane, he has a base there with his head office and cookery school on the first floor. Art Alfresco – Mil Lane Arts Week continues this week and launches the Art exhibition at Giovanni’s Mill.
The opening art exhibition begins at 5pm on Friday, August 25. Then the exhibition continues between 12pm and 6pm Saturday, August 26th. Giovanni would like to thank Cardiff Council, St David’s shopping centre and restaurants in Mill Lane for their Support.
Giovanni's On the Hayes (38)
Cardiff, CF10 1AJ
Giovanni's In Park Place (8)
Cardiff, CF10 3DP
10-11 Mill Lane
Cardiff, CF10 1FL
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