This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Fonda Makes An Entrance In Sydney

Interiors

After a slew of successful Melbourne eateries, Fonda has landed in Bondi.

The food’s good, but that’s not what’s getting us in the door – we’re all about the paradisal interiors (including endless Terrazzo!) by Melbourne-based Studio Esteta.

15th March, 2018

Melbourne-based eatery Fonda, has popped up in Sydney! Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Their brand of casual Mexican dining has come to Bondi, and the interiors are a sight to behold! Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Our beloved, Terrazzo, makes many appearances. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

The dreamy hued interiors are the work of Melbourne-based interiors firm Studio Esteta. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Directors Sarah Cosentino and Felicity Slattery have worked serious wonders with what was once 193-square-metres of run-down hospitality venue! Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

They’ve fused the fun, fresh and youthful brand’s identity and homage to Mexico with Bondi references. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

The Plant Room has brought the greenery! Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Raw textures, bold colours, and simple but striking forms feature plentifully.Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Even the bathrooms are beautiful. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

The works of architect Luis Barragan were a key point of inspiration. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

The space is refined, yet unpretentious. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Classic Thonet No. 811 Hoffman chairs were included as a notable link to the custom rattan screens and woven pendants. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

While working inter-state on this project had its challenges, having an on-site project manager was a godsend for the duo. Photo – courtesy of Studio Esteta.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 15th March 2018

Terrazzo – can’t get enough of it. Rattan – huge fans. Terracotta hues – we’ve obviously got an affinity for those… Fonda Bondi is ticking off MANY trends-we-love boxes!

The new hot-spot on Bondi’s buzzing Hall Street is the first national eatery for Fonda, which already has a line-up of successful Melbourne locations.

Cremorne-based architecture and interiors firm Studio Esteta have worked serious wonders with what was once 193-square-metres of run-down hospitality venue! Directors Sarah Cosentino and Felicity Slattery set out to reflect the fun, bright and youthful persona of Fonda, in a refined, slightly rustic and unpretentious manner. Their bold colour choices and on-trend materials palette have tied the space together, lending the interiors a sophisticated yet fun personality.

Here, the diligent duo runs us through their considered design approach.

Tell us about your work on Fonda Bondi?

We were engaged by Fonda in January 2017 to design their first national store. The brief called for a design response that maintained the fun, fresh and youthful brand identity and casual service model they are known and loved for in Melbourne, but similarly responds to the direct context of Bondi.

Our design inspired by the ideals of modern Mexican architecture, paired with a sympathetic approach to the history of the beachside suburb. The works of architect Luis Barragan were a key point of inspiration – his use of raw textures, bold colours, and simple but striking forms.

What are the standout features of this project?

The palette layers, including rendered wall finishes, rust-toned encaustic tiles, rattan screens, varying shades of Terrazzo and warm timbers.

The patterned quality of Terrazzo and its array of colour and aggregate choices is what informed our selections for the project. Terrazzo’s imperfect patterns reflect the natural movement and pattern in nature. For example, our design reference of aerial views of Bondi beach with people scattered along the shores made an interesting resemblance to the material.

Our overall colour strategy brings together powder blue (Bondi beach), earthy shades (Mexico), and varying shades of green (a connection to the external environment).  There’s a monolithic communal table clad in powder blue terrazzo in the central dining space, and a nude-pink-and-rust coloured Terrazzo lines the counter. Green Terrazzo floor tiles are used alongside a timber banquette and greenery to create a ‘sanctuary’ towards the rear of the interior.

Who was involved in the fit-out?

Our team worked alongside Fonda directors Tim McDonald and Dave Youl and their team to ensure all brand, aesthetic and operational requirements were executed to a high level. 

K & K Industries were the builders, and Ambience lighting assisted us in the architectural lighting design, the control system and some custom lighting. Prototype furniture manufactured the custom tables that we designed, and classic Thonet No. 811 Hoffman chairs were included as a notable link to the custom rattan screens and woven pendants. The Plant Room was responsible for the greenery in the rear ‘sanctuary’ dining area and the potted cactus’ that are scattered throughout.

Did you encounter any challenges during this project?

It was a challenge being in a different city to the builder and our project site. You take for granted being able to drop in every two weeks to ensure quality is being maintained. Fortunately, we engaged a Project Manager early on, who visited regularly and kept all parties on track – it was quite fast paced, typical of commercial lease pressures!

How have people been responding to the place?

When photographing the project in mid-October, only days before Fonda opened its doors, there was excitement in the street. It was a buzzing Saturday on Hall Street, and bypassers were constantly stopping to peer in and find out more. Witnessing this first-hand was very rewarding for us, and there has been a lot of positive feedback since!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Interiors

A Nod To The Australian Aesthetic In South Korea

Melbourne's Flack Studio brings some serious colour to sensational Seoul eatery, Caravan Hapejong.

Food

Hotel Jesus · Al Pastor Tacos

Flavoursome starters from Melbourne restaurateur and mexiphile Matt Lane.
Matt Lane

Interiors

Welcome to Été Restaurant

We take a look inside new Sydney hotspot, with SPECTACULAR interiors by Foolscap Studio.
Elle Murrell

This Week

Interiors

Creating The Best Kids Bedroom Ever!

...got some time on your hands? Lauren Li shows us how to create a kids bedroom that is sure to keep the kids AND the grown-ups happy!
Lauren Li

Interiors

Introducing The 2020 Dulux Colour Awards Finalists!

From a candy pink bathroom to an all-green-everything living room, take a closer look at our favourite residential projects shortlisted for

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

Architecture

A Serene Japanese-Inspired Home In Melbourne

Japanese design principles underpin Highbury Grove by Ritz&Ghougassian, designed for the studio's co-director.
Amelia Barnes
  10 hours ago

Studio Visit

Kayleigh Heydon's Paintings Will Light Up Your Life

The Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist takes us through her Northcote studio.
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

News

'Design Lives Here' Takes You Inside Other People's Houses, From The Comfort Of Your Own

Sick of the inside of your own house by now? Take look at someone else’s in this new book by the former editor of Artichoke magazine...

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

Food

Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of home cooking returns to warm our hearts with another seven day's worth of meal ideas, and a shopping list for everything you'll...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  18 hours ago

Times Like These

Times Like These... With New York Times Food Columnist And Author Alison Roman

The New York-based bestselling author and beloved cook talks about feeling all the feelings of COVID-19, finding the motivation to work, and...

The Good Room

A Magazine Maven's Sentimental Good Room In The Southern Highlands

Former head of Vogue Living and Monocle magazines, Robyn Holt shares her 'Good Room' at home in regional NSW, layered with pieces collected
Lisa Marie Corso

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

News

Go To Caroline Walls’ Gallery Opening Via IGTV!

Let’s be real, what else are you doing? The Melbourne-based visual artist is taking to the virtual realm to open her solo show, Resemb...
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

Interiors

A Nod To The Australian Aesthetic In South Korea

Melbourne's Flack Studio brings some serious colour to sensational Seoul eatery, Caravan Hapejong.

Food

Hotel Jesus · Al Pastor Tacos

Flavoursome starters from Melbourne restaurateur and mexiphile Matt Lane.
Matt Lane

Interiors

Welcome to Été Restaurant

We take a look inside new Sydney hotspot, with SPECTACULAR interiors by Foolscap Studio.
Elle Murrell