Bars and Nightclubs
Inner West, Sydney

Tio's Cerveceria

14 Foster St, Surry Hills
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A fun bar with a short, sharp and concise menu: TEQUILA! Roll up in your dapper outfit consisting of your ugliest shirt, dry your feet on the last supper rug, be sure to bring your friends and occupy the stools by the bar while chatting animatedly with the bar staff about all things agave and ceramic owls and dogs. This bar packs as much pow as the tequila served in the shot glasses and there is certainly no shortage of “twangin’” Mexican rockabilly grooves pumpin’ out the stereo.

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Tio's Cerveceria Review

Review by Marissa Wilford

Foster St, Surry Hills brings a vast array of fantastic memories to mind. As a teenager comin’ up in the world of the inner city, Friday nights were spent trying to score alcohol and culture at the China Heights gallery with some buddies and being introduced to hip hop, then later (as a legitimate adult) scoring a job assisting a designer in the Heights studio. Those were the days of footloose and fancy rent-free life.

Flash forward to 2012 and the introduction of Tio’s Cerveceria to the street has not only included a new venue for the crew to drink right, but it is foreseeable that fond new memories will be created because of this awesome new bar.

Opening pretty much a minute ago, Tio’s (Spanish for Uncle) is a tequila bar. Boasting almost 80 brands of tequila with the goal to reach 200, the barmen know what’s up and throw some hefty lingo around like, “peppery” or “woody flavour” when describing certain shots.

Decked out like a legitimate Central American bar, there is no shortage of owls here, drippy wax candles and two ceramic dogs on the bar – just ‘cos. Walking in, guests are notably welcomed by the last supper rug under foot. The space kind of feels like a cafeteria but it is no way intimidating, and the stools that line the bar are almost never empty as the guys behind are rather friendly to chat to about all things tequila. It’s even got some pretty watermelon and flamingo fairy lights strung up to really set it off and help illuminate the joint. As does the bright neon Corona crab holding a lime, stuck to the back wall.

Musically, Latin rockabilly plays all night long, but if you stay back late enough you get to hear the bartenders’ favourite Spanish pop songs. Think Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” Spanish.

Almost everything edible and drinkable is covered in salt, like the Rio Bravo tinnies ($5), cracked, doused in salt and topped with a fresh slice of lime or the bags of popcorn, tossed in chilli and more salt and served warm in brown paper bags. The all-male staff regularly top up your fill and make sure your livin’ alright.

The barmen have their finger on the pulse and the flavour to produce some ridiculously interesting and tasty cocktails. The Roberto is a standout, consisting of coriander, whole limes, and mint and forced through a juicer then garnished with a slice of cucumber, piled with ice and Guatemalan tequila love, this is a bomb drink and all the flavours complement each other really well like a hot couple. The cocktails are on rotation at about $10 each but the Roberto is by far the winning crowd pleaser.

Surrounding patrons are a diverse crew and sit in little cliques either up at the bar or around the long wooden dining tables. Aged between their early 20’s to late 30’s, this place packs out quickly so be sure to run in early, 4pm til 1am Monday to Saturday and 4pm til 10pm on Sunday for to join in the tequila love glow. Arriba!

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