David Gale – Co-owner of Vaults

David Gale was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, not far from Niagara Falls. He was a tech student in high school.

“We did the lighting and sound for the auditorium and I liked that at a lot. I joined the theatre group and went on to York University to do theatre studies.”

But he didn’t finish, he dropped out a few courses short of his degree, jumped in a van with a few friends and drove out to California where he worked for several years alternating jobs in props, costumes and carpentry, with that Hollywood classic, waiting tables.

Over the years he has punctuated theatre work with a 5-year stint as a restaurant manager in Ottawa at the Cafe Bohemian and working with a firm of cabinetmakers in Toronto to design and create distinctive shop fittings for customers like Club Monaco.

He got his break on Broadway with a company making sets for productions like The Lion King, Les Misérables, Tommy and The Producers. He also worked building sets and props for television and movies. His favourite large piece was reproducing Leonard Da Vinci’s flying machine from a copy of the original plans. It was flown in the movie using a crane. Unfortunately Leonard’s effort lacked a little in airframe design to really fly.

Then 10 years ago David and Katrina came to Portugal on vacation and that changed everything.

“We were so taken with Portugal on that first trip. We stayed in Praia de Rocha and every other day we drove to a town or village in the Algarve. I remember coming around a curve in the road towards Silves and suddenly the castle appeared in front of us. We pulled the car over to the shoulder and got out and just looked at each other grinning.”

After decades of freezing winters in Canada the Gales were looking for somewhere warm to retire to, or semi-retire, as neither of them is the type to just sit and do nothing. Two more trips confirmed those first impressions and a decision was taken to look for a place to live and some kind of work they would both enjoy.

“To us Portugal was like “the Canada” of Europe. It’s a beautiful country, the people are peace loving, gracious, friendly and so welcoming. Even when the only Portuguese we knew were the words “faz favor” and “obrigado” we felt at home.”

On the last vacation in 2012  David went out to scour the real estate postings for a possible house to rent or buy. He came back excited saying, “I didn’t find a house, but I think I found us a restaurant.”

And that was the beginning of the adventure at Vaults Bistro.

Loves: Books, especially history and science fiction. Dogs. Walking on the beach. Acoustic guitar. Old jazz standards. Art. Chess. Ballroom dancing. Good food. Relaxing with friends. Salty snacks.

Hates: Bureaucracy. Taxes. Discussing religion or politics. Keeping up with technology “my fingers are too big for those tiny keyboards”.

Katrina Gale – Co-owner of Vaults

Katrina was born in Iserlohn, Germany to a Canadian military family. They returned to Canada when she was two and she grew up in Ottawa.

Katrina studied computer science, technical writing and editing at college and worked as a technical writer and Help Desk Analyst in Toronto.

She is a prize-winning author of short stories.

“I have created a writer's group on Facebook (Algarve Writers).  The idea is that we can share our writing, get some feedback, a little gentle criticism and support one another.”

“I think this lovely old building lends itself quite well to community gatherings. We would like to see it being used as more than just a place to eat, but also a place people can get together from time to time for activities like: book swaps, chess matches, club meetings, jam sessions and other events. If you’ve got an idea for a community event and need a venue send us an e-mail. We’re approachable.”

Katrina is also a fiber artist. She knits, weaves, has 3 knitting machines and embroiders. Her wool stash is pretty impressive but she still thinks the Algarve could use a few more wool shops.

Loves: Dogs. Books. Sunshine. Knitting. Old movies. Tea. Exploring the Algarve. Lazy beach days. Good food. Chocolate. Found Objects. Faithful friends. Lending a helping hand.

Hates: Bureaucracy. Taxes. Waiting at Airports. Machines that don’t work properly. Having to ask for help to open bottles and jars.