Pete's Eats was set up as the sort of café that Pete and Vicky would have liked to have found on their travels. Food quality, quantity and price are fundamental but it is the other things that make places special, and these together create a place with a great atmosphere.
“The two guiding principles then are the same today; we wanted the cafe to be the sort of place we would enjoy going to on our travels, and we have always tried to treat people as we would like to be treated ourselves, staff, customers and suppliers.
The late 70’s and early 80’s were a dynamic time for the UK rock climbing scene and Llanberis and the cafe were an integral part of this.
We have always appreciated the local area and have always wanted to share this enthusiasm with our customers.
People have always been welcome to sit and meet and to freely exchange information and stories and that above all has given the cafe its feel.
We know people appreciate good value and quality food, and after a day on the hills we know that most people appreciate generous portions.
Over the years we genuinely welcome most people whether they are locals, workmen or people passing through or people into extreme sports. For over 30 years we have had a dress code, although we have yet to ask someone to leave if they are wearing a tie!
We have been vegetarian for over 25 years, but whilst we have no problem cooking mixed grills and bacon sandwiches, we always ensure that there is a good veggie choice on the menu.”
Following the closure of the very popular Wendy’s Café at the other end of Llanberis Pete and Vicky Norton opened the doors to Pete’s Eats, offering the outdoor and all other types:
Shelter and warm welcome.
Pint mugs of tea, coffee, chocolate.
Good portions of quality food.
Free newspapers - very rare then in UK cafés.
Current climbing magazines to read.
Toilet - unusual at this time for similar cafés.
Cheque cashing facility for customers who did not bank at the Midland or for when it was outside banking hours.
Pull-up training bars in the back room - before the advent of climbing walls this was often the in-place for some serious training.
A new routes book for recording North Wales rock climbs - suggested and started by the late great Jimmy Jewel and friends. This is the source for magazine articles and guide books written by local activists. These are significant documents covering over twenty years of climbing history.
Noticeboards and information - expanded to meet need over the years -what’s on, what’s for sale, courses and much more.
We usually have the local rock guides and maps available which we will lend out to people who need them. All our staff try to provide up to date information when requested - if we don’t know often someone in the café does.
First importation of block chalk from Italy as a climbing aid - license later went to another source.
A back room with easy chairs and coal fire - very popular especiallyat winter weekends. Lack of space led us to convert it to a café table area.
The addition of a second toilet. Our policy has always been to allow non customers free use of these facilities as the public facilities in Llanberis are all too often closed.
Extensive photoboards which are regularly changed, depicting our customers and what they do - an extensive variety which always creates great interest.
Free CD juke box with a huge variety of non rock CDs including classical, jazz, blues, African and Asian music. Small display of some local artists work with details of how they can be contacted.
Installation of a credit card payment machine with cash-back facilities.
Internet access within the café - the first available for public use in the village which allows overseas visitors to keep in touch with home.
Secure bars installed outside for locking bikes, Also used to tie up dogs.
The café expansion added another 30 seats to over 100, disabled access and toilet, two additional toilets now making four, a shower, double-glazing, central heating, a gas fire for wet winter days, free lounge and reading room upstairs with free map library, three computers with internet access, a flat that sleeps 12, a charity book exchange, rubbish compactors to help us recycle some of our waste, good fresh coffee, a better and faster serving area and a much enlarged and better equipped kitchen.
Donation by Ray Wood of some excellent black and white photographs for the new seating area.
The notice board was extended and quickly covered – enough for a whole mornings reading!
All old new routes books photocopied and properly bound so everyone now has access to the history of climbing locally since 1978.
Pete Norton finally retired. Pete’s Eats was bought by local Toby Harris whose father Al Harris helped to set up the café in ‘78 after Wendy’s was closed down.