Giovanni Malacrino

Conceived in Canton, born in Italy and brought up in Grangetown, Cardiff – Gio is a true Welsh Italian. Gio began his career by traveling to America and working on luxury cruise liners traveling the world.

In New Jersey, he bought shares in a bar called The Fox and Hounds and after successfully running the bar for some time, he became homesick and made the move back home to Wales.

He returned to Cardiff and his first business venture was selling ice creams. Looking for a venue after six months, he came across a coffee shop the called ‘Planters’ now the infamous Giovanni’s Restaurant in the Hayes and today he is celebrating his 21st year.

When asked about his success Gio says ‘It seems like only yesterday that the first customers and now very good friends of mine, the Hirley family walked through the doors. They used to sit in the window trying to make the place look busy until St David’s Hall emptied after which Gio’s restaurant became full. I would like to acknowledge them and will forever acknowledge them. I had lots of help from my sisters Francesca and Tina and was able to venture into a new business then called Continental moving onto club La Tino above Continental. It used to be home to the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Shirley Bassey to name but a few’.

Gio felt that Mill Lane was missing something and became the pioneer in helping to create Wales’ first purpose built Café Quarter. This started the regeneration of Cardiff and brought the heart of Cardiff to the award winning Mill Lane.

Gios says ‘When celebrities come to our venues we give them the option as to whether they are happy to be treated as celebrities of would they rather be left alone. I believe everyone has the right to their privacy’.

Next Year Gio will be venturing into his next specialized restaurant, bar and club with a difference, but before then his aim is to take No 10, Conti’s Club and Restaurant to the next level providing a special service, great food and fantastic entertainment. Gio says ‘I feel that although Cardiff has expanded we all need to focus our attention in raising our standards so we can truly compete with other major cities in Europe.’

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