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About Us

The building that houses Gales at 18 Bridge Street has a rich history.

For hundreds of years the hostelries of Llangollen served the needs of travellers taking he road from London to Dublin. As they approached the wilds of Snowdonia the small town of Llangollen must have seemed an outpost of civilisation.

From the late 17th Century the premises of 18 Bridge Street, then the Lion Inn was one of those hostelries. (The building that houses the Wine Shop was The Butchers Arms).

In 1815 the renowned engineer Thomas Telford forged a new road through the area diverting the increasing volume of traffic away from Bridge Street, the original main road. Eventually in the 19th Century the licenced premises that had been the Lion Inn became an Ironmongers shop.

In 1977 Richard Gale was looking for premises to start a Wine Bar. By chance a friend suggested Llangollen as a suitable location and so a chain of events began that led to 18 Bridge Street once again becoming a haven for travellers visiting or passing through North Wales.

Initially the reception was mixed - this was, after all, the first Wine Bar in North Wales! Over 35 years, however, local support has ensured the ongoing sucess of Gales and underpinned the development of the business that now includes Gales Wine Bar, Hotel and Wine Shop.

With a second generation of the Gale family now firmly established in the business, the future of the old hostelry is assured.


Richard Gale

Wine buff and so addicted to “winebar lifestyle” that he decided many years ago that the less expensive option would be to have one of his own. Gales is an extension of Richard's personality. It's a business but it has to be fun for the family, staff and most importantly the customers.

Richard thinks broccoli is ridiculous: loves Emerson Lake and Palmer and The Hollies and we suggest all customers ask him to relate the ‘Bible Salesman Joke'.

Pip Gale

On graduating from University in 2001, Pip traveled extensively to expand his knowledge and understanding of wine before joining the family business. As Director and General Manager he has embraced the Gales business philosophy, keeping the style and traditions whilst introducing new features. Pip continues to explore; tasting and travelling around European Wineries. Pip is an active member of the wine community, and in 2013 was admitted to the prestigious Academie du Champagne.

Pip won't play monopoly on moral grounds.

Gillie Gale

Gillie and Richard started the Wine Bar in 1977 where Gillie's cuisine brought a change of style to Llangollen. Gillie now runs the Hotel and Wine Shop side of the business in addition to being the voice of reason.

Occasionally, Gillie 'needs' a G&T.

Andrew Gale

Andrew is a freelance photographer and web designer. His artistic and creative abilities have led to his input at Gales as Design Consultant in which capacity he deals with marketing, advertising and publicity (and this website).

If you see him in the bar his drink is rum.

Holly Gale

Over the years Holly has been a great help behind the bar and in the shop but she is now living and working in London.

Holly would like to be a vegetarian, but she loves Steak too much.

Jack Hatley

Our head chef Jack Hatley has worked at many prestigious restaurants such as Longville Manor and Sumas in Jersey and the Grosvenor Chester.

As well as being an incredibly talented chef, Jack also has competent butchery skills which he brings to Gales’ kitchen.

Any spare time Jack enjoys fly fishing, butchery at the local pig farm and teaching cookery workshops.