Aidan 'Taco' Jones is a comedian and writer based in Melbourne Australia, he likes most types of cheese and often throws tantrums. To read his blog and find him doing comedy hit up ajtaco.blogspot.com
Published April 28th 2014
So cosy it makes pillow forts seem like lonely dungeons
The first time I ever went to Whole Lotta Love I had both pizzas – there were three on their menu at the time, but they only had ingredients for two of them that Wednesday afternoon, and so I tried both, because I had plenty of time, and because the bartender was a legend. I remember sitting at one of the high tables on a comfy bar stool and intermittently having raised-voice conversations with the bartender across the room. We were the only two in there, and the time was about 5:30pm.
Don't let the door hit the chairs on the way in, from the moment you walk through the door you're in the middle of it!
I remember that afternoon a little later on, as the sun dipped down behind the low rooftops of Brunswick East, one of the other bartenders came in, late as he apparently always was, and copped an earful from a manager who suddenly appeared from an office door that seemed to spring out of nowhere. I raised a wry smile at the exchange, recognising myself in the late bartender, and remembering the many lost jobs and furious managers that have littered my own life. I continued eating my pizza – they used to be vegan-only, but have since started offering meat options as well.
The inside area is only slightly more than twice this size. Cosy.
The comedy nights held sporadically on either Wednesday or Thursday, or sometimes Friday... or sometimes Saturday or Monday... are the main reason I found out about this quirky little bar perched on a kink in Lygon St, across the road from McDonalds – an unlikely spot for this strange bar. It's not very big at all, maybe seating around twenty people inside at generously spaced-out tables, and perhaps another fifteen in the outside area. There is a feeling of intimacy found in such small spaces though that can't be replicated in a larger bar; you feel like the conversation you are having could, in an instant, come to include anyone in the venue.
There are no hidden corners or tucked-away secret areas, it's just one open room with the bar as the focus, and a stage in the only point that could be considered inconspicuous. Only it's not inconspicuous though, because an enormous depiction of the Hindenburg Airship's famous immolation covers the entire wall in glorious fiery tones so as not to let anyone forget that they are somewhere exciting.
On Sundays there is an open mic where the locals sit around and drink, waiting patiently as performers take the stage and offer up their latest creations, and because the room is so cosy, it never feels like you're being judged. Only smiled upon by a bunch of friends who you just haven't had the chance to talk to yet. But you will, everyone is open to conversation.
If you're looking for a place to go that's halfway in between an old-style pub that you can comfortably sit in, and a modern-type lounge/club you might visit to order a cocktail, then head up Lygon St towards Brunswick East, and poke your head into this tiny little spot. Not too hot, not too cold, not too loud, not too quiet, not too local, not too foreign, something about it seems just right.