Our Story

Our Story

Genoa Café was established in Warrenpoint in 1910 by a Italian immigrant named Thomas Magliocco who also owned premises (Florentine Café) in Newry and in later years (The Cosmopolitan Café) also in Warrenpoint.

In 1937 The Genoa changed hands and was sold to Mr. Antonio Magliocco who at that time also owned The Genoa in Monaghan (est 1928). Between 1937-38 Antonio put his eldest son Francesco (Frank) Magliocco into The Genoa Warrenpoint to run the seasonal business from Good Friday until September or October, depending on the weather at the time. During 1939-40 all those Italians who were not naturalized British Citizens were interned on The Isle of Man. Due to the family's connections in the south of Ireland Antonio returned to Monaghan and The Genoa in Warrenpoint was forced to close.

Antonio Magliocco then established the new premises in Athlone (est 1940). Antonio had a friend of the family, Maria Magliocco who was a widow living in Portrush, struggling to make a decent living so Antonio offered to rent The Genoa, Warrenpoint to her and the family, Frank, Lena and Francis. In 1944 Antonio then established another new premises in Drogheda and in 1946 established another new premises in Galway. In 1969 Antonio Magliocco sadly passed away.

During the late 1940’s Maria Magliocco had to leave The Genoa, Warrenpoint and Antonio’s son, Donato (Dan) stepped in to take offer the running of the business until the early 1950’s when Maria Magliocco returned. Maria Magliocco and her son Frank ran The Genoa, Warrenpoint until Frank’s retirement. The shop was then returned to Antonio’s family and The Genoa business was later sold to Salvatore (Sammy) and Lugina (Jean) Forte in 1976.

Salvatore and Lugina Forte continued to run The Genoa on a seasonal basis (From Good Friday to October) with the help of their children, Maria, Olga, Carlo, Gemma and Paola until their retirement in 1997. Salvatore and Lugina Forte then passed on the business to their two children, Carlo and Gemma in 1997.

During the winter months of 1997/98 Carlo and Gemma undertook major renovations to the premise, re-instating the original café features and it officially re-opened on Good Friday 1998. Gemma acquired Carlo’s share of the business in 2002 and became the sole owner of The Genoa. Gemma along with her husband, Peter O’Hare opened The Genoa, Newry in 2007 and in 2010 The Genoa celebrated 100 years in business. To celebrate they put on an all-day event at the Warrenpoint shop, with all money raised going to local charities.

Gemma, Peter and their family, Sonia, Tony, Aldo, Lisa and Giulia continue to run The Genoa business to this day.