Sunday, 26 July 2009

Forte's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour

On the seafront at Rhos On Sea is Forte's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour:

Back in the 1950s, the site of the Fortes Building was just a piece of wasteland, after Pyes Promenade Garage & Coach Booking Office had departed the site for Princes' Drive in Colwyn Bay. In 1956, the Forte family opened a small shack serving hot and cold drinks and snacks on the site.

The present Fortes building, with flats above called Hadden Court, dates back to the 1960s. In those days, the restaurant was in the style of a self service diner and there was a small amusement arcade next to it called the Golden Goose (operated by the same company that owned the piers at Llandudno & Colwyn Bay that also had Golden Goose Entertainments on them).

The ground floor was reconfigured and refurbished in 1997 to form the present Fortes Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour, together with two shop units on Penrhyn Avenue. The Golden Goose then moved around the corner into one of these shop units but did not prosper in its new location and eventually closed in about 2000. The two shops are now occupied by a carpet shop and a florist respectively.

If you're visiting Rhos, a visit to Fortes is a must. The Forte family still own it today and they are open from 9am all year round serving a wide selection of hot & cold meals and drinks. There are also over 24 ice-cream flavours to choose from. Do pop in!


Carneades said...

The Fortes (from Sicily) who own the place are cousins of Lord Forte - the hotel multi-millionaire. The four daughters still run the cafe, with at least one member of staff who's been with them for twenty years.

They used to serve the best bacon toasties in the area (Jean did, anyway) and outstandingly good milky coffees, before the word Latte had been heard in this country.

Lovely place and the old, fifties-style decor they had up to 1997 was redolent of a wonderful past era. Absolutely the place to visit - history is astonishing.

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