Annie had a taste for the business

Annie Alonzie, left. in the early days of the Harbour Bar
Annie Alonzie, left. in the early days of the Harbour Bar

ONE of the founders of Scarborough’s most iconic ice cream parlour has died at the age of 98.

Annie Alonzi died peacefully at Briardene Residents Home surrounded by her close family.

Annie was well known in Scarborough after setting up the Harbour Bar, in Sandside, with her husband Tony and sister-in-law Lucy in 1945.

Tributes have been paid to the “hardworking” and “gentle” woman, who was a “wonderful mother” to her children.

Annie, Tony and Lucy opened the famous bar on the first Saturday in August 1945. They could only open for two hours though as they sold out quickly due to rationing at the time.

The trio built up the business from there, all contributing their individual skills.

Giulian Alonzi, Annie’s son who now runs the Harbour Bar, said: “My mother wasn’t really the businesswoman, she was the hard worker.

“She had one particular skill in that she had an amazing sense of taste, which was particularly useful in an ice cream business.

“She could spot sour milk a mile off, and would taste all the ice creams to give her verdict. We knew if she said it was good, then it was good.”

Annie worked for many years behind the bar, spending long hours from 6am until 11pm greeting customers, while at the same time bringing up her three children Ann, Giulian and Susanne.

Giulian said: “She was an amazing mother. She used to start work in the shop at 6am, then come back and get us up and ready for school. When we finished school she would always come home and get a meal on the table for us before going back to work for the late shift.”

Annie worked until the age of 82, and was popular with both customers and staff. Before she retired she swapped the counter for the factory where she made chocolate sauces and cooked fruit.

Giulian said: “My mother saw the business and the industry change over many years.

“Back then the season would finish when cricket did and nobody would be around until the following year. They kept the shop open though, and became popular with the local fishermen.

“My mother was very well liked by customers. In those days the same people would come back the same week every year. Saturday and Sunday nights were always great welcoming nights at Harbour Bar for returning visitors.

“She was also popular with staff.

“My mother was a very gentle and thoughtful woman. Unlike my father and aunty, who were both Italian, she was quiet and calm, and loved very much. She will be missed by many.”

Annie was a mother of three, a grandmother of 11 and a great grandmother.