On how a Jazz Café becomes an inspirational life-changing community. IT IS A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT, laughing with joy at least 10 times per day, trigger positive effects on body and soul …
7’ min reading
WHY BAR MAURIZIO?
The first time I entered Mauri’s bar it was merely out of laziness: as I moved in the area a fundamental question arised: “where should I go to get a coffe ?”. Close to my home I had 3 alternatives; one BAR ( cafe’ in Italian en) was 140 mt away, the other 130, and the last, 110. The option “the closest possible“ just overwhelmed the remaining ones right away. Eventually, a layed back choice rewarded with ♥ at first sight. I, and many other “Bolognesi creatures”, consider this café as a HOME: LOL, JAZZ AND COFFEE @BAR MAURIZIO.
What’s the secret behind so much love for a place that, at 9:30 am, is as overcrowded as the Parisian metro line 12 at 5:30 pm to Montparnasse? Which marketing strategy turned this tiny café into a magnet for the most varied human fauna?
THE MAN BEHIND THE COUNTER
Mauri is the secret behind this café; he managed creating a natural extension of himself, or maybe better, his passions. Start, by visualizing an eternal neighborhood kid and a vintage radios serial accumulator, who loves the kitschiest gadgets as well (those that makes you laugh as soon as you see them). Continue by adding to that he’s a sailing boat and bricolage passionate, with a past working experience as a mechanic.
The café is just 54 yards away from his home on one side; on the other, it used to be at the same distance from DAMS (the university faculty for Art Music and Entertainment). As one can imagine, a vessel for artistic souls, out of which, a few were promptly exploited to add pieces to the café furniture’s decoration, ab taberna condita ( in Latin since the bar was founded E.N.) , year 1985 AD.
Besides, Mauri deeply loves cinema: particularly fond and nostalgic of Clint’s Westerns, who is his source of inspiration for what concern “the delicate” behaviour approach. The main difference being, that Mauri communicates mostly in Bolognese dialect, wearing colorful aprons and Birkenstock sandals, instead of the poncho, the cigar and the cowboy’s hat. One can hardly describe all the attachment to cinema, bricolage and the laid back mood while surrounded by friends. He’s so much into all of this, that he installed in the miniscule bar a projector and a concealing screen. During the lazy Bolognese afternoons he entertains us playing sort of essays review, from super trash B movies to Herzog.
The Boss here has the natural skill of problem solving in his DNA: he hasn’t a license to cook on real fire? Where’s the problem, since anybody can forbid him to use the cappuccino siphon to steam cook pasta and sauces. For which btw, he takes orders directly on a WhatsApp chat created for all of his habitués!
And what about his ability in creating bestsellers? As the Panino called Buonissimo (very good in Italian E.N.), which was recognized with an article on the local newspaper. Despite he’s not a kid anymore, Mauri is super connected and attentive to all his clients’ needs. The café has free Wifi (whose password wifidalpugnatt is the local dialect way standing for GoF***Yuorself – plenty of dark humor in there), and for many of us it’s also a deposit for pack deliveries (despite after last Ken Loach’s movie was released and Giorgia Olivieri’s comments about that, we are trying to limit as much as we can the abuse of e-commerce).
On top of all this, one should add Mauri’s gratest ♡ of all ( together with the one for his wife and daughters): JAZZ MUSIC and the greatest ROCK SOUND OF ALL TIMES.
Mauri’s biosphere is inhabited by such a varied human specimen, that could make Philippe Katherine’s list in “J’adore!!! LUXOR” blushes : Doctors, Butchers, Brokers, African street vendors, Uni professors, Journalists, Musicians, Actors, Homelesses, Art Directors, Lawyers, Architects, Yoga Instructors, Software Programmers, popular and unknown Singers, Restorers, Graphic Designers, Pensioners, Students, Children, Radio’ Speakers and DJ, Writers, Grandparents, LGTB Activists , Business Men, Engineers, Photographers, Teachers, Trainee, Expatriates, Lazy asses and hyperactive ones, etc.…
I should have write the feminine gender for each one of these cathegories to be correct, but hope you’ll get it 😉
Amongst the various artistic souls in the neighborhood, a couple of decades ago, Mauri captured in captivity one in particular: LEONARDO MANTOVANI, a Bolognese actor looking very much alike Robert De Niro of the past days, with a strong caustic sense of humor, mostly politically incorrect. A mix in between Allen, the Cohen bros and Anderson. With a peculiar fetishism for disguising( from the Foreing Legion private , to Anna Magnani, Jesus or Hitler). He’s the only client of the café who ascended to a transcendental status. Eventually he became one of the assets of the BAR, and one of the reasons for which the 70% of the usual guests go there too.
@Mauri’s place is pretty hard not being updated on anything which happens into town, as amongst the various habitués, we have Giorgia Olivieri. She’s a free-lance journalist not originally from here, but whose love to this city is certainly bearing the promise of a future Honorary Citizenship. When I whispered her my first blog’ article would be dedicated to “our” Café, she immediately replied back to me: “And how would you do that ? You should write an Enciclopedia!”
Honestly, she’s certainly right because this article can’t really pay justice to the human experience it provides in real life. A conglomerate including Mauri, his habitués but also all of his actual and former collaborators, such as his daughter Athina, Andrea “MoroBanderas”, Mario, LaBetta, Giulia , Daniele, Agata, Michela,Gianluca, KarmineK….
In dark moments and emotional hurricanes, coming here just to have big fat laughs while having my coffee, taught me how to relativize without too much of an effort. Finding the energy to never give up. This is why, this tiny bar became a safe port for anyone who love Music and Creative Confusion, where one can simply defuse any negativity. Or why, the first coffee’n’cigarette of the day with the relevant “collective” press review, became a vital lightness dose to take at least 2 per day… on possibly long sessions (45 min minimum).
BAR MAURIZIO: FACTS AND FIGURES
3 displays for pastry( big ones, mini, empty, stuffed a little, stuffed, super stuffed and OVER stuffed looking like just coming out from Balenciaga f/w 18-19 runway). Then, a display for the savory ones, where you can find an all-time local favorite, crescentine coi ciccioli( sorry everyone, no translation for that, just need to know that this awaken our memories of midmorning high-school break).
The best seller Panino called BUONISSIMO.
1 THICK SOLID WOOD ESSENTIAL COUNTER, that blinks an eye to Clint’s Western Saloons.
2 raw wood tables , on which, a few decades ago, a local artist made oil paintings scenes of the bar.
4 basic solid wood benches that looks like being stolen from a small countryside church.
1 mezzanine, a tiny one, 11,5ft x 5ft, still in wood, provided with 2 tiny round tables, those you could see in Parisian cafés. The mezzanine hides behind a sort of balustrade designed and created by another local Artist, who immortalized Mauri, his wife and himself. This tiny space turns twice a week into one of the smallest stages of the world on which live and jazz groups perform music freely.
Then, 26 vintage radios.
40 little statues of jazz players.
20 in between paintings and art photo dedicated to the jazz musicians and singers while playing in here.
Last but not least, as if it was an under deck hold, 1 toilette, AKA “THE HOUSE’ SPECIAL”…. in other words,
LOL COFFEE & JAZZ @BAR MAURIZIO.
If you’ll come to meet us , you’ll certainly find us here! But you shouldn’t bother that much, as every city and town hide at least 1 ”Bar Maurizio”. So, go out, find your safe port and get a bit lost in there: since learning how to waste time,is one of the ways of earning time! ALOHA!