The story of Augusto, one of the most famous figures of Aveiro, tells us the journey of a man full of strength and taste for life, who knew, first of all, to win the heart of the people of Aveiro and the most beautiful varine of the seaside.
On a day like so many others, young Augusto returned to his godfathers' house in the village of Valongo do Vouga when he was confronted with much-awaited news - a promise of work in Aveiro, in a cervejaria called Tico-Tico.
Still half stunned by the good news, the 17-year-old boy was quick to realize the challenge ahead. He packed his bags and set off on his way to a land that, unbeknownst to him, would later become his home.
Life in the city was more rushed and confusing, especially the cervejaria's kitchen, where waiting for him were piles of crockery, pots, and potatoes to peel. The years passed thus, in a hard, frantic routine that took the boy away and made the man.
One fine day, the owner wanted Augusto to go to Gafanhas, to Mr. Julius's butcher, to get the meat for the already famous bifanas and fêveras of Tico-Tico. He went and came swiftly, loaded with two bags of meat prepared for the frying pan. And so it was the next day, and in the other, weeks, months, and years on end, exchanging shoes for a bicycle and later for a small motor bike.
It goes without saying that the young Augusto was no fool. In addition to having a keen sense of observation, he learnt to keep his ears open, so he soon realized that he could, with some training, cut the meat himself. Which brings us to two more characteristics of our protagonist, fundamental for the unfolding of this story: the sense of opportunity and the strength of those who reach the most improbable dreams.
Augusto had been learning from Mr. Julio the art of cutting meat, and the result was very visible on the dishes he made. After this discovery, the usual customers of the restaurant still messed around with him, but joking aside, they made sure that it was Augusto who put the bifana on their plate. Eventually the 'kid', the 'boy', the 'young man, became manager of the Tico-tico.
Although his skills developed visibly, the desired recognition and partnership continued an unattainable dream. However, his sights weren´t exclusively set in Tico-tico’s society. It was also the heart that spoke louder, caught up in the beauty of the young seamstress Luisa Vinagre, the 'Queen of Aveiro', a title attributed in two consecutive years to she who would become Augustus' great love.
It was after the return of the daily trips to Mr. Julius's butchery that the young man spent some time dating her beloved at the her window. From the ground floor of Rossio, under the attentive gaze of grandmother Micas, he gradually gained the heart of the beautiful Luisa, in a year-long courtship, until the day she accepted the marriage request, celebrated weeks later in the church of Vera Cruz, in the year of 1959.
After the marriage, Mr. Augusto was more determined than ever to build his own business. In 1962 he left Tico-tico and a year later he opened the Tea House, where he worked for five years until 1966, the year in which he and his wife achieved the dream of erecting their own restaurant in an old stable, The Cervejaria Rossio. The house gained great fame and prestige and in May 2007 won the medal of municipal merit, delivered by the chamber of Aveiro.
People from all over the country gathered at his establishment, seeing in Augusto not only an excellent Chef, but also an incomparable friend. Rossio's doors were always open, and Augusto shook hands with both engineers and the humblest employees.
This was not an easy ride though. In the early years, both he and the rest of his family had to sleep on the cervejaria floor to open early and get down to work. His daughter, Lena, grew up behind the counter, absorbing the enthusiasm and commitment of her parents in the vibrant atmosphere of what became her second home ...
In these kinds of success stories it is common to see the torch passed on to the next generation, who learns the art with their parents, and so has Lena. She grew up to inspire clients with the same kind of admiration her father enjoyed, although not all the usual customers greet her in Portuguese. Let’s be clear: tourism is becoming more mainstream in Portugal and year after year Cervejaria Rossio regularly attracts customers from all over the world. A special mention must be made to Fatima, the lady who received from Augusto all the wisdom about the restoration business and is responsible, day after day, for maintaining the good name of the house.
Despite the winds of change, the house remains with an informal attitude and decor reminiscent of the past, paying tribute to the art of the tile. Whether it be the playful attitude of the father, the tender smile of the daughter, or the unrivaled menu, this is a house that will be forever part of Aveiro