The town fryer that’s been chipping away for 30 years

An Alnwick chippy which has been serving customers in the town for 30 years is hosting a day of celebrations.

By Paul Larkin
Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 12:59
Adam Alexander at Carlo's. Picture by Jane Coltman

And on the menu at Carlo’s restaurant and takeaway in Market Street is a free bag of chips for Gazette readers on the ‘birthday’ next Wednesday.

Adam Alexander, who has run the fish and chip shop since his father-in-law Carlo Biagioni retired from the business three years ago, said he wanted to do something special to thank the town for its support.

A portion of chips at Carlo's Restaurant.

“We are going to have a day of celebration on May 22, to mark 30 years since we opened in Alnwick,” said Adam, who has been working at the shop for almost 13 years.

Carlo opened the chippy in 1989.

It all started when he met his future wife Laura when she was visiting her grandmother in Carlo’s home village of Barga in Tuscany, Italy.

He had attended catering college were he was taught different languages, including English.

Carlo Biagioni

After travelling to Laura’s home in Scotland and becoming engaged, her father offered him work in one of his fish and chip restaurants and taught him all about the trade.

In time, the couple moved and bought a little business in Middleton St George and one in Darlington so they could work for themselves.

Laura became homesick for Scotland but when they saw the takeaway in Alnwick for sale, they decided it was just the place to bring up their family and have never regretted it. They had three children who attended schools in Alnwick.

Carlo said: “It was just a small takeaway and had been a fish-and-chips takeaway for a very long time before then.

Carlo's Fish and Chip Restaurant and Takeaway.

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“Several years later, we expanded by purchasing the Chocolate Soldier next door and turning it into a restaurant.”

For several years, Carlo’s restaurant was the main sponsor of Alnwick Town Football Club and he often helped several organisations in Alnwick and surrounding areas.

“It was very gratifying once to find myself sitting on a plane on the way to America and finding that the Londoner sitting next to me had enjoyed fish and chips at Carlo’s,” he said.

“We have had good times and bad times, including a major fire in 1997, which caused us to close for three months.”

Flashback - how it looked in the early days.

Carlo’s has won many awards, including being recognised in the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame for businesses that have been awarded Certificates of Excellence for more than five years in a row since2014.

It was also the first in Northumberland to attain the Quality Seafish Award and was included in the best 100 fish and chip shops in the UK.

Carlo said: “I would like to thank all the customers in Alnwick and the surrounding villages for all their custom and the help of our staff over the years. We couldn’t have done it without them.

“Over the last few years my son-in-law Adam has taken over the business and he will continue to fry the very best quality fish and chips and keep both locals and tourists more than satisfied.”

This year, Carlo stepped down as founding chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade nine years after setting up the organisation.

He is now completely retired after 30 years in the fish-and-chip trade.

Don’t miss this week’s Gazette for your voucher entitling you to a free medium portion of chips at Carlo’s on Wednesday.