Spoiler alert: there is no David Rio. Instead, a company called David Rio dates to 1996, when Rio Miura and Scott Lowe debuted a company inspired by India’s chai wallahs, who bolster black tea with fresh-ground spices like cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger. In 2015, they opened Chai Bar by David Rio in Mid-Market with a small patio, black and white tiles, curvy aqua banquettes, pod shaped lanterns, and 10 different types of chai.
My first visit to the Chai Bar involved Cub Chai ($4.50) a frothy, well-spiced blend with fresh pressed ginger, black pepper, and a choice of milk (whole cow’s milk). I’m a hardcore coffee drinker, but still see enjoying this spicy chai in a stylish setting from time to time.