This story begins with Ernesto Tavares, saxophonist of the famous Tavares Brothers, also known during the sixties as the 'Beatles of Gafanha da Nazaré.' A dear figure of the Aveirenses who, over thirty years, fed to students, tourists, cagaréus and ceboleiros, some generous tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of tripas of Aveiro. It was in 1975 that he fell in love with the great love of his life, the beautiful Maria Margarida of Beira Mar, from the family of the Vilar goldsmiths who had sold, from the beginning of the twentieth century, gold, silver and watches in José Estêvão Street, in Ourivesaria Vilar, sold in meantime and known these days by the name of Ourivesaria Certa. They had two children, Dulcineia and João, born and raised in Aveiro, between the sonorities of jazz and blues, on the father's side, and the decorative arts, along with the kitchen, on the mother's side.
One of the buildings of the Vilar family, in Largo da Apresentação, was an old stables of the Municipal Guard, built in the second half of the 19th century with stones from the wall, passing over to the Republican National Guard after the change of regime. We are told by the elders of Aveiro that during the Estado Novo, from the confines of the stables the tortured cries of the interrogations conducted by Pide were heard, taking advantage of the facilities and equipment of the Guard for this purpose, namely the convenient piano, whose sound drowned out, in part, the voices of agony. Acquired in the early sixties, the building was then rented to Mr. Lucio, an upholsterer who maintained his activity there for half a century until 2013, the year in which he died, coinciding with a set of circumstances that would lead the Vilar Tavares family to open the doors of Tertulia Bistro.
A few years earlier, in 2008, the Vilar Tavares family had opened the Restaurant Tertúlia, in Golegã, specialized in traditional Portuguese food and known by the acclaimed Açorda à Tertúlia. However, upon the death of Mr. Lucio, the upholsterer, the opportunity arose to open a business in the free space. Taking advantage of his youngest son’s availability, João Ernesto, who was trained in information technology, his parents' know-how, and years of experience in the hotel business, the family decided to return to Aveiro with a concept appropriate to the tourist attractiveness of Largo da Apresentação. 'Why not bet on something related to the hotel business?' Joao said one day while the family was all together, putting their hands to work immediately, transforming an old stable from a historic building, converted into an upholstered workshop, into a concept of innovative restoration, which has 'family' as pillar and essence - The Bistrot Tertulia. The name alludes to the Paris’s Bistrots, which, as João Ernesto tells us, were private houses that opened their doors in times of war to serve meals to hungry soldiers.
The sixty-centimeter-thick walls of Tertulia Bistro, as was the norm in military buildings, are undressed, revealing the authenticity of the nineteenth-century building that was cleverly conserved at the hands of its founders. A number of minimal white rails were added to the adobe, giving the space a contemporary appeal, tempered with elements of arte nova, such as the French doors behind the main balcony. From the kitchen, one can smell traditional smells, enhanced by the family and characterized by unusual names such as Ti Guida and Ti Nesto, in a loving reference to their parents, Margarida and Ernesto, respectively. On the other side, coming from the direction of the Largo da Apresentação, the smells of one of the most typical sweets of Aveiro, the Gut, prepared by those who know best, the father Ernesto Tavares himself, at the head of the plates, in the doorway .
We tell the story of a gathering place, with good appetizers, familiar and cozy, but also sophisticated and bohemian, from which stand out the main and angular figures of the concept, the hosts of the house, personified in the Tavares Vilar family. A house that respects the memory of the mother Maria Margarida, in an act of eternal gratitude, carried out by Ernesto and her children Dulcineia and João Ernesto, in a gesture of the purest feeling, having love as guide, to 'open the doors of the one’s own home'.