A space with History

The history of A Brasileira do Chiado carries with it many other stories. It has been through many time periods, political systems and turning points in Portugal’s history. Through it all, it has maintained its essence and perpetuated the memories of many artists and anonymous patrons who have found here a place unlike any other, for over a hundred years.

Inspiration in the past

The history of A Brasileira do Chiado carries with it many other stories. It has been through many time periods, political systems and turning points in Portugal’s history. Through it all, it has maintained its essence and perpetuated the memories of many artists and anonymous patrons who have found here a place unlike any other, for over a hundred years.

A Brasileira was opened on 19 November 1905 in Chiado, in a premises that was once a shirt shop. The business was started by Adriano Telles, a Portuguese emigrant who married the daughter of one of the largest coffee producers in Minas Gerais, Brazil, before returning to Portugal. Here, he started to sell coffee, unknown at the time and an unpopular drink due to its bitter taste. With an eye on the obstacles that might prevent his customers from enjoying Brazilian coffee, he implemented the idea of creating a coffee shop where the product could be sampled, and he started giving away cups of coffee as a form of advertising.

The plush interior décor made A Brasileira a rendezvous point for the great and the good of the day: lawyers, doctors, teachers, writers, and artists. It was also a meeting point for revolutionaries who eventually took part in establishing the Republic in 1910.

With the freedom achieved in the period after the establishment of the Republic, and its privileged location, A Brasileira do Chiado became one of the most popular cafés in Lisbon at the time and was the scene of numerous intellectual, artistic and literary gatherings. Renowned writers and artists such as Fernando Pessoa and Almada Negreiros found at A Brasileira do Chiado the inspiration for paradoxical concepts and ideas.

Fernando Pessoa’s regular presence prompted the unveiling of the bronze statue sculpted by Lagoa Henriques in the 1980s, showing the writer at a table in the café’s outdoor seating area.
With the importance it took on in Portugal’s cultural life, A Brasileira do Chiado still keeps its identity intact – for the specificity of its decoration and the symbolism due to links with intellectual circles.

Designed by architect Manuel Norte Júnior, one of the most notable architects of his generation and winner of five Valmor and Municipal Architecture Awards and two honourable mentions, the design of the luxurious, Parisian-style façade has become an image of the brand. Classified since 1997 as heritage of public interest, today it is one of the oldest cafés in Lisbon, and one of only three that survived the entire 20th century and remain open. In 2017, the municipality of Lisbon distinguished A Brasileira with the award “Stores with History”, awarded based on the interest of its activity over the years and the existence and preservation of material, cultural and historical heritage.

A Brasileira do Chiado has always been a truly iconic space in Lisbon, earning its place of prominence among the most emblematic establishments of Chiado, as one of the most visited and photographed in the whole city.

Brasileira do Chiado is a Valor do Tempo Group brand since March 2020.

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