This small, unremarkable corner boteco is dominated by the truly remarkable looming figure of one man. His name is Nelson, and you’ll find him sporting a yellow-horned Viking helmet behind the bar, every single day.
‘I started wearing it as a joke but now I don’t take it off for anything. Only when I go to bed,’ smiles the quietly-spoken paulistano. ‘My wife gave it to me, though she denies it!’ ‘I’ve been coming here for ten years,’ chips in one of the regulars, ‘and he’s been wearing it non stop!’
The boteco, whose name – corno – you won’t be surprised to learn translates to horn or cuckold – is also presided over by ‘papai’ (daddy), as Nelson calls the trophy bull’s head, with golden tipped horns, that hangs on the wall.
‘Every one here is a corno,’ says Nelson, ‘they just don’t know it,’ which gets a laugh from all the customers in the bar, where the space is small enough that there’s only ever one conversation – or joke – going on at any one time.
Outside, the electric blue wall is decorated with mosaics as part of the ‘100 Muros’ community project, for which cheerful tiles painted by local school children brighten up walls all over this part of town.
This review was published as part of the Time Out Boteco Detective series, searching for the best down-to-earth bars in São Paulo.