Before the inevitable question, the correct answer: botequins are very popular meeting and eating/drinking places in Brazil, small and cozy (if not all that clean in quite a few occasions) inexpensive bars offering the morning combo of coffee and toasted, buttered fresh baked bread; and snacks, cold beers and mostly cheap spirits after lunch and throughout the day into the early morning hours. As with the English pubs and their customers, one usually picks his/her favorite botequim and stay loyal to it, spending long hours standing by the bar (no chairs available at the more “orthodox” old establishments), drinking, eating and discussing every subject, from irrelevant soccer matches to elaborate political analysis.
Here is my selection of images from a couple of months visiting some of Rio’s oldest and respected botequins, documenting each place and its customers, and understanding what makes the botequins such a fascinating side of the “carioca” lifestyle. These images were taken back in ’92 for the “Jornal do Brasil”, ending up as an essay at the Sunday color magazine. The following set is a revised take on some old forgotten images.