Designed by Studio Esteta, Fonda Bondi, the first national store for the Melbourne based eatery, presents a design approach that reflects the fun, bright and youthful brand personality in a refined, slightly rustic and unpretentious resolution.

The injection of colour was essential in translating the fun and fresh personality of the Fonda brand applied in a bold but controlled and effective manner. Drawing upon the traditional ‘Fonda’ in Mexico; a home that opens its doors to the local community as a restaurant, and the brand’s motto ‘mi casa, su casa’, the design response was to inherit a casual personality through the creation of a warm and inviting setting.

The design is refined and layered with conceptual intent, inspired by the ideals of modern Mexican architecture paired with a sympathetic approach to the site context of the beachside suburb of Bondi. ”The works of architect Luis Barragan were a key point of inspiration, for his use of raw textures, bold colours and simple but striking forms,” shared Studio Esteta. “The curved powder blue ceiling to the front dining area draws direct inspiration from the coastal surrounding. The colour palette is light and bright, with accents of nude, rust and powder blue hues, inspired by the coastal surroundings as well as shades derived from Mexico.”

The raw, honest and humble textures of Mexico are further reflected through a palette that layers materials including rendered wall finishes, rust-toned encaustic tiles, rattan screens, varying shades of terrazzo and warm timbers.

The layout enables a fluid and seamless spatial flow for staff and patrons. The patron is taken on a journey through the store, from the buzzing ‘bar’ space at the front of the restaurant which speaks to the busy and bustling Hall street, through to the intimate booth seating in the middle of the space, and finally to the rear ‘sanctuary’, a luxurious banquette, surrounded by vegetation which softens and distorts views of the existing rear façade and residential street beyond.


Fonda Bondi is located at 85 Hall St, Bondi NSW


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[Images courtesy of Studio Esteta. Photography by Tessa Ross – Phelan.]


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