In 1984, José António Pinto, together with the parents, began to manage the establishment. He compensated for what he lacked in experience with the enthusiasm and energy of his twenty years. The parents had a pastry shop in Porto, where José helped in his spare time, but restoration itself was a novelty for the three of them. The house has undergone some transformations over the years, which have added to it a variety of functions. José identifies some key moments in the evolution of the business, which represent the look of someone who has been working in the business for 35 years.
When him and his parents took the reins of Duvalia, the restoration of the Port was underdeveloped, there was little offer. This situation was later reversed, however, years after this golden age José began to realize that the people from Porto began to lose the habit of going out for a coffee at night. He regrets this tendency, because, for him, social interaction is part of the business and its the customers that motivate him to maintain and improve the house. Most of them are professionals from various areas who come to Duvalia every day. The requests are practically guessed and the clientele is treated by the first name, but this isn’t surprising, since a large part of the staff has worked in the establishment for more than 20 years. No one here calls the 'employee'. They call, Manuel Pinto or Álvaro Osório, for example. The space is ample and has a outdoor area that is always full even during winter, while in the interior, one can appreciate the personal touch of Jose that has been over the years, reformulating the house.
However, the diversity of Duvalia doesn’t reveal itself solely in the functions it performs and in the visits it receives. The dishes made here also cover a wide spectrum, taking advantage of the typical specialties from all over the country, especially from the north, from the rojões à moda do Minho, to cozido à portuguesa, tripas à moda do Porto, chanfana de cabrito à beirão, arroz de pato and bacalhau to Zé do Pipo. Desert is right on the next counter. Traditional pastries, made in-house, offer an excellent choice for the end of the meal.
The Campo Alegre area has undergone several changes over time. It was once an area full of commerce and services, while nowadays it is a bit more residential. Businesses like Duvália, however, continue to thrive, because after all in the proximity trade, what counts are the people and in this establishment 'everybody knows each other'.