Today we tell the story of Marina Martins and Kais Lauoini and their business, located at Clube dos Galitos Street, number 5. Marina and Kais are psychologists, friends, parents, older siblings, teachers ... Let's summarize. Marina and Kais are owners of the Ria Café and the rest comes naturally.
The varied career of both of them met in the municipal stadium of Aveiro and shortly after they decided to assume the management of the business. For Marina, the passion for restoration began at an early age, when she worked in a bar during vacations in Switzerland and immediately knew that it was through contact with the public that she felt happy. She stayed in Switzerland for several years and it led to her acquiring much of her experience. She worked for seven years at the Olaria and as manager of the municipal stadium of Aveiro, where she was able to generate a great dynamic. Kais came to Portugal in the year 2000 and worked at the Imperial Hotel, which was followed by the restaurant Estufa in Gafanha. Later he later worked in Touro e Galo and finally in the municipal stadium.
Acquiring the Ria on May 4, 2007 was an adventure, but one that undoubtedly paid off. Ria's clientele is varied, however, the coffee has always been known to be the meeting point of many students from Aveiro. Marina and Kais are, therefore, in a privileged position, to be able to witness a myriad of experiences that mark the passage to adulthood, to sum it up, to witness lives. Be it the stealing of an early kiss, the amorous follies in which it seems the world will end, or that first cigarette smoked with some nervousness, there is not much that has not yet passed through the eyes of these two entrepreneurs. They are not, however, mere spectators. You see, in Ria, customers - many of them people who attend the coffee daily - are seen as family, and even with a full house, neither Kais nor Marina fail to succor any adolescent who seeks in alcohol an immediate refuge, or simply suffer from the anguishes typical of such ages. Parents, who initially do not realize the attraction of the establishment, end up, after meeting Kais and Marina, granting them the mantle of guardians, perpetuating a relationship of trust and friendship.
Despite their young clientele, sitting at the tables of the Ria, we see the entire spectrum of generations. In fact, it will probably be this routine of frequenting the coffee, acquired from an early age, the genesis of its transgenerationality. It is not at all uncommon to see clients who have been patrons forever, or to find people who return after several years to take a photograph at the table where they met their soulmate, or celebrated their entrance into college. The tourism, national or international, doesn´t dodge this mythical establishment as well. Countless bars fill the cities with life and conviviality, but few have the legacy and energy of Ria Café, witnessed on the walls by countless photos with faces from all over the world. It is, therefore, a meeting point and mandatory stop in the city of Aveiro.
The decoration of the space is also a great attraction. Since it was assembled, Ria has maintained its appearance. The large room, well lit by the windows that greet the busy center of Aveiro, accommodates a wide audience and is not coy about telling past experiences, printed on the corners of worn out wood and the rust of iron balconies. For those looking for a more intimate corner, we recommend the tables at the foot of the balcony with its sparse and charming lighting. The red velvets speak of passion and vivacity, the brown tones reveal the simple pleasures of coexistence, immortalized in the collective memory through the cellars and dining tables for the whole family, so typical of Portuguese families. In short, the structure reflects the soul of Ria.
We could not, however, speak of soul without mentioning the staff. Professional, dedicated and available, it is also part of the family and is essential to keep the house running smoothly. It is not uncommon to find the staff off duty, mingling with the habitués of the establishment, undoubtedly an indication of the good coexistence that arose from this business.
In addition to the usual coffee / bar items, in this space you can also try shisha (flavored tobacco). Concerning events we highlight the live music and halloween, always with good disposition and appropriate decoration.
49 years ago there were practically no coffees in Aveiro. Ria settled in the place where old grinding mill was wasting away and deservedly built its reputation. Today we have a varied offer of bars and cafes, but Ria Café retains a special place in the heart of all the people of Aveiro. Do overlook this little piece of the city.