If drinking tequila in the presence of religious iconography is considered blasphemous, Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd are committing some serious sacrilege at Tio’s Cerveceria, their playful homage to tequila, Margaritas and Mexican culture.

Inside, Catholic shrines house saintly figures of the Virgin Mary, melted candles line the clay-washed walls and long strings of fairy lights burn a red hue over the darkened room. Behind the taco-stand-inspired bar, hundreds of varieties of tequila and mezcals are mixed in with ceramic religious figurines. Like Blackmore and Dowd’s other bar, Cantina OK, the agave-based spirits here are rare, interesting and sourced directly from Mexico.

Since Tio’s first landed in 2011, the team estimates it’s shaken up more than 100 000 Margaritas, thanks in part to its $10 weekly special. There’s a new fruit flavour each week, with past highlights such as pandan and coconut, and blueberry and hibiscus. Otherwise, the Tommy’s (a spin on the traditional Margy recipe trading triple sec for agave syrup), frozen watermelon and spicy Margaritas are stone-cold classics.

To help with the tequila consumption, you can order nachos topped with either roast pork, chorizo or refried pinto beans. The timeless duo of guacamole and tortilla chips is also on offer. Otherwise, the bartenders will sort you out with free, bottomless bags of picante popcorn. God only knows how much of the stuff they’ve sent out since 2011.

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Updated: October 13th, 2022

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