Your host for the evening is the very personable Jono Francisco

A Neighbourhood Piano Bar Where Everyone Knows Your Name

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
If you haven’t experienced an evening at Jono’s Piano Bar, you might arrive a stranger, but you’ll leave a warm friend.

On the night my husband and I visited Jono's Piano Bar, we were greeted at the door by none other than Jono himself. I’m not sure if he was filling in for someone or if he doubles as maitre d' every night. While seating us to our table, he seemed to personally know every guest there so it's possibly the latter. 

Our visit coincided with the 1 year anniversary of Jono signing the lease and transforming the bar into what it is today. In that year, Jono has amassed a family. The place is full of regulars that he greets by name and he can’t go more than a few steps without someone calling out to him.

When we rolled out of there after midnight, showtunes still ringing in our ears, we did a quick round of goodbyes to our newfound friends including a personal goodbye to Jono. As we left the din of the bar and stepped back onto Greville street, I looked back at Jono carousing and laughing with other guests and I couldn’t help but think we’d joined a new family and that we have to make our way back soon.


The bar is located on Greville street in Prahran. This charming, narrow street is lined with independent stores, boutique retailers, bars and coffee shops and has a village-like atmosphere which makes it feel a world away from the rambunctious Chapel street which can feel hectic and overly commercial in places.

Other drinking options in the area include White Oaks Saloon and Angus and Bon, the latter of which is housed in the former post office. There are also notable eating options such as French steakhouse Entrecôte

The area is easily reachable via trams that stop on Chapel street.

Jono's Piano bar exterior on Greville Street, PrahranJono's is located in the charming Greville street precinct in Prahran.


As you’d expect, tunes are provided by a piano set up in the middle of the room with accompanying vocals. On the night we attended, Jamie Burgess was on piano and Jono was providing the vocals. Both performers oozed talent and you felt like you were in good hands from the first note. 

The room is a long space with an L shape in the middle which means the piano and stage are set up in a thoroughfare between the front and back of the restaurant so people are constantly walking by. However, this adds to the charm because Jono never misses a beat and greets everyone by name as they walk by and even got a few up to sing a few notes.

Jono's musical taste tends towards old-time crooners like Frank Sinatra and Burt Bacharach. His voice and Vegas-style wardrobe do justice to the genre.

When To Go

Jono’s is open 4 nights a week from Thursday to Sunday. 

Thursdays are open-mic nights. Fridays have a mandatory singalong policy for all those toe-tapping classics that you can't help but break out in tune. Featured artists perform on Saturdays with artists varying from well-loved regulars to household names. Check the calendar for details. End the week with a Sunday roast with alternating chicken or pork with all the trimmings.

Reservations can be made via the website. However, you can also try your luck with a walk-in.


The clientele is a mix of creative types (think the music and drama crowd), a queer crowd, and the middle-aged, suburban set. It seems Jono’s personable character didn’t only appeal to me - he has also won over locals from the neighbourhood. We struck up conversation with a couple seated near us who lived just down the street and could only be described as groupies. They would try to catch Jono’s attention during the show and jump up to buy him a shot in every break.

On the night we attended, it was a very metropolitan crowd, like we could be in bar in Greenwich Village in New York. The place was buzzing and there was an excited energy in the air.

View of the crowd at Jono'sThe bar attracts a mixed crowd including a strong queer representation.

Queer Interest

While not advertised as a gay bar, there is a noticeable queer representation both on stage and in the crowd. With Jamie on the piano and Jono on the mic, the show was run by gay men and there was plenty of queer content to keep us and our newfound suburban friends laughing.

Queer-interest entertainers such as drag queens and divas are scheduled regularly so check the calendar for upcoming acts. All of this, combined with the fact that the bar is located in gay heartland Prahran, means there is a strong queer representation in the crowd. 


The menu consists of casual, shareable dishes as opposed to a full sit-down dinner menu. Dishes are perfect for grazing while you watch the show. There is a dessert menu to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The drinks menu contains a selection of beer, wine and cocktails so you’re sure to find something to hit the right note. The menu goes beyond a standard bar menu with liqueurs and aperitifs which give it a sophisticated, upmarket feel. 

Cheese plateThe cheese plate was larger than expected and included an impressive selection of cheeses attractively presented and with plenty of croutons and crackers to enjoy the entire platter.


The only cost is the food and drink that you order, which are on par with similar venues. At Jono’s you get entertainment and a convivial atmosphere thrown in for free!