Stop by your cool uncle’s place for a tequila fix
Talk about a winning streak. Darlinghurst’s Shady Pines is possibly the coolest bar in the city, their sequel Baxter Inn is rocking the CBD, and now another spin-off, Tio’s Cerveceria, is the Surry Hills local you never knew you always needed.
OK, so Tio’s is actually run by two former Shady barmen, Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd, but the DNA is all there. You’ve got a killer bar snack – instead of Shady’s peanuts or Baxter’s pretzels, Tio’s has complimentary bags of hot chilli and Chipotle-spiced popcorn. Then there are the stellar cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices and house-made mixers – tick! – plus the requisite staff with tattoos, vintage wear and rockabilly haircuts.
But this is no carbon copy. The USP starts with the knockout tequila selection: 70 bottles behind the bar, with 40 more on the way this week, and grand plans to stock upwards of 250 varieties. We’re talking blancos, mezcals, reposados and extra-reserve anejos as fine as Cognac. Order Cuervo Gold and you’ll be smacked upside the head with an agave cactus. Probably.
And with Sydney cocktails skimming the $20 mark, we’re loving the GFC-friendly rotation of $10 mixers – from tequila sunrises with orange juice and housemade grenadine, to the green-is-good El Roberto Especiale: fresh green apple juice with cucumber slices, tequila, lime and three-herb syrup. That’s some serious bang for your Banjo (Patterson – check your wallet). Want beer? Hit the cans of Rio Bravas, rimmed with salt and lime.
Tio’s is frugal enough to be your regular watering hole… and fun enough. It’s fashioned after your cool uncle’s place; you know, the handsome one who rides a motorbike and smoke Marlboroughs. Apparently. There’s also a backyard motif, with picnic tables, candles galore, a Mexican surf-rock soundtrack, and strings of watermelon lights. Don’t even try to understand the bar’s trash-as-treasure collection of owls, neon signs, fiberglass dogs and – dios mio! – paintings of Jesus; just go with it.
So, muchacho, get your drunk culo down to Tio’s. You don’t want to miss out on your cool uncle’s party.
Where: 4 Foster St, Surry Hills
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm-midnight | Sun noon-10pm