Project

Mamma Roma Bistro, 2020

  • Client Intro

The owner of this famous venue is a long-term client of ours whom we love working with! The upstairs sister of this Italian bistro had a full makeover in 2017 (see Mamma Roma Ristorante) and Mennato wanted to bring the downstairs bistro up to the same level in design appeal.

  • Scope/Client Brief

The earlier upstairs redesign had created some serious sibling rivalry. The two spaces are no longer related, and customers would often choose to dine upstairs over here. The space needed to be brought up to the same standard as the restaurant above and so we were called in again to revive this famous Edinburgh eatery.

The venues still needed to retain their own personalities and not copy each other; however, it was still important that both spaces could continue to operate under the same brand identity.

  • Challenges

We had to remove the dated wood features and old furniture, which just didn’t have the right level of class that the space needed. The bar was an inadequate size for the amount of diners we could fit in so we rearranged the service layout. A raised step in one of the sections of the restaurant was awkward and separated the otherwise uniform space.

As the flooring was to be retained, we had to work it into the design. There are two ways to go about something that’s not ideal in a design: you either play it up or you mute it down by introducing attention competing elements around it. We opted for the latter and packed the ceiling and walls full of new design elements that would bring the space to life.

  • Interior Design Solution

The raised area became another feature of the restaurant – we gave it a slightly different vibe from the rest with a clever space-saving fixed seat at a feature table that sits beautifully under some great quality artificial foliage. Overall we carved up a more relaxed Italian scheme to complement the more formal setting upstairs, renewed all surfaces, lighting, and furniture, and redesigned the bar to be the new focal point of the room. This little sister now punches its own weight and looks and performs as well as upstairs, with a huge happy clientele beaming complimenting posts on all social channels.