In the middle of the XX century, Aristides, a man from Aveiro decided, through an admirable vision for business, to create a pasture house in Aveiro, which would later be known as Tico-Tico and whose presence is felt in the windy city until nowadays. In a former Aveiro, where the references were names like Gato Preto, Galito, Galo D'oro, Triannon, Café Avenida and Café Arcada, Aristides aspired to leave his mark on the city and began by climbing such a huge mountain with an investment considered high for 1950: a rent of 1000 escudos per month, for a space that had recently been built by Mercantil Aveirense in Travessa do Mercado, nº1. His son, Fernando SIlva, was still a teenager, while in his home in Vilarinho, his wife was in charge of a small grocery store.
Thus began the adventure of Tico-Tico, but, like all great stories, this one also had its difficulties. Aristides died in 1955 and Fernando Silva, already 22, returns from Overseas when the military service is over. He came to provide valuable support to his mother, Conceição, who in the meantime had assumed leadership of the restaurant. His father had left him a legacy of debt, with his unexpected departure, but fortunately also left him a legacy of working ability and perseverance. Fernando Silva brought from his time in Ultramar new ideas and experiences and decided to face the difficulties with a vision that consisted of transforming a simple restaurant, based on prego no prato (beef and fries) and prego no pão (beef sandwhich), in the best brewery and seafood restaurant in Aveiro. He began by establishing a network of contacts that guaranteed him the necessary supply of shellfish. From Barra and Gafanha came the clams, the mussels, the goose barnacles. From Peixaria Minhota in Bolhão and Vila Praia de Âncora and Peniche came the crawfish, shrimp, crab. And as Fernando Silva was not a person to do things 'to get by', he went to the station every day to receive fresh merchandise from the north of the country.
With the issue of supply solved, Fernando Silva focused on space. The restaurant was expanded to the space previously occupied by clothing store, and a gallery was created on the ground floor that so well characterizes the house even today, and that has brought it a certain amount of involvement. The investment was substantial, 'tying' Fernando Silva to the payment of a loan that he did not rest until it paid off. For six years he kept a demanding schedule (ten in the morning at three in the morning) and did not take vacations. With such an effort, the name 'Tico-Tico' grew and became the home of choice for many people of Aveiro. Through his doors passed mechanics, lawyers, merchants, police, taxi drivers, in truth the entire population spectrum of Aveiro and Fernando Silva exchanged pleasantries with any of them with the same easiness and good humour. In fact, even from Albergaria and the surrounding area, there were habitués and 'good forks' who considered that a visit to Aveiro without going to Tico-Tico was not a visit at all ... Their famous pregos no pão ended up including the brewery in the plans of movie-goers, in those movie nights at the busy Cine-Teatro Avenida.
Curiously, Fernando Silva's motto was probably one of the reasons for the success of the establishment: 'we were there even more for socializing and not for exploration'.
However, it was not only with the clients who maintained friendly relations, their employees were also cherished like family. At a time when it was still the 'old lady' who was in charge, Fernando Silva went to the union and social security to pay the quotas of employees and created, over the years, an informal environment. In fact, every year they had a day of 'forrobodó outside doors', to relax. One of the employees completes the spirit of the house with this remark: 'I really enjoyed Tico-Tico because I have made discounts for social security since I started working there.'
The city, for its part, was evolving. New business arose, Aveiro grew and Conceição's health, an eternal strong arm in the kitchen, deteriorated. The time had come to think of selling. But even in this process Fernando Silva was cautious. He wanted to pass on the business to someone who would assure him that Tico-Tico would remain in full operation andthere would be no severances. The overtaking took place in October 1971, and in one of those coincidences, three of the employees ended up being part of the next management (Reis, Santos and Americo), that took Tico-Tico to a bright future for more than 30 years. The chapter of Fernando Silva ends here and his contact with Tico-Tico as well, but not because he was left with any kind of heartache. On the contrary, the happy years spent in the restaurant make the contact nostalgic and a little emocional. From the restaurant he takes only memories of a full and joyful life.
In meantime, Tico-Tico has continued its journey. During a third temporary management, it was a little inactive, but already has the experience of Paulo Vieira, owner of Caffeine, also located in Aveiro, to perpetuate its presence in the city. It has made an admirable effort of remodeling, bringing new life to the upper part and to the kitchen. One of the main objectives was to maintain the charisma and nostalgia of the house and for this he kept the traditional counter, tall and robust.
Paul is proud of the establishment having already crossed several generations. Nowadays it serves the children and grandchildren of those who attended the house at the beginning, which only contributes to the continuity of the restaurant.
Aristides laid the foundations, Fernando Silva erected the walls, the second management, put the ceiling and painted it with new life. A beautiful house, in Aveiro to be sure!