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

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

Homes

A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

The newly-renovated Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells perfectly blends indoors and out!

Travel

A Stylist's Bookmark-Worthy Guide To Byron Bay + The Northern Rivers Region

Stylist Jono Fleming shares his impeccable recommendations for the best eating, shopping, swimming and sleeping spots on the NSW North coast...
Jono Fleming

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

Creative People

A Travel-Inspired Ceramics Collection That Will Take You On Holiday!

Queensland-based ceramics brand Marloe Marloe launches a new collection of vessels inspired by the seaside!

Shopping

Lockdown-Inspired Woven Outdoor Picnic Mats, From One Of Our Fave Local Stylists!

Stylist Nat Turnbull launches Laze, a new brand of outdoor mats for lounging and picnicking, with designs by Alice Oehr.

Architecture

A New Melbourne Home That Follows The Sun

This Eaglemont home has been cleverly designed 'to almost disappear', by Architects Eat.

Tiny Homes

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

Stays

This Origami-Style Beach Shack Is The Perfect Coastal Getaway

This architecturally designed coastal retreat on Stradbroke Island looks out over the glittering Coral Sea. The most dreamy vacation destina...

On The Market

This Elegant Victorian With An Eclectic Architect-Designed Extension Is For Sale

Period features meet unique, contemporary design in this Ascot Vale, Melbourne home.

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

Architecture

A Casually Confident Beachside Home

A falling down period home in South Fremantle has been brought back to life with a new extension by David Barr Architects.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Artist Creating Ceramics Inspired By Ancient Mesoamerican Culture

From dub music to the Chinese Song Dynasty, the influences of Enrique Tochez Anderson stretch far, wide and into the past.

News

A Father-Daughter Duo Explore Warlawoon Country In A New Show At Koskela Gallery

‘Ngaboo-lang’ by Rammey Ramsey and Kathy Ramsay comprises seven painted works exploring their ancestral land.
Sasha Aarons
  16 hours ago

On The Market

An Architect’s Iconic Carlton House Is For Sale For The First Time

Tube House, one of very few residential houses ever designed by acclaimed architects Denton Corker Marshall, is for sale in Carlton.
Amelia Barnes
  17 hours ago

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

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.