Morning Glory Blooms in San Diego Thanks to Basile Studio

Morning Glory's custom chandelier soffit is walnut, brass, and acrylic-cast rod, with 1x2 steel painted with automotive copper high-gloss. Photography by Zack Benson.

The Piazza della Famiglia in San Diego’s Little Italy is a 10,000-square-foot public square and marketplace that, with its food halls and movie nights and concerts, is now among the city’s busiest areas after dark. Morning Glory is set to ensure it’s the best place for breakfast, too, thanks to hospitality group CH Projects and designer Paul Basile and his Basile Studio. Fresh off the massive success of nearby Born & Raised, Basile has transformed the second floor, 4,000-square-foot space into a Memphis-meets-Frank-Lloyd-Wright stunner.

“Anytime you place a venue on the second floor of a building, you have to figure out how to make it attractive enough for people to want to make the trek upstairs,” Basile says. “Along with that particular issue, the historic façade had a parapet that extended up five feet above the patio floor and made visibility to the street impossible.”

The bar face is red oak with rolled brass rods, trimmed in copper and topped with titanium; the stools boast quilted leather and suede with brass tulip bases. Photography by Zack Benson.

He found a spectacular solution to both issues: steel windows painted “Mary Kay pink” that bi-fold individually and break horizontally. “They move though the day, so passersby would be curious about what was happening,” he says, “and then once inside, add enough detail to keep them thinking.” Add columns clad in walnut and mirror with brass cage globe surrounds, which pay homage to Wright, a pastry bar in brass and zinc, and a menu from two-Michelin-starred executive chef Jason McLeod, and that’s plenty of food for thought.

The dining room awning comprises rolled steel tubes and flat-bar window frames with radius glass covered in UV film; the tabletops are pink marble with green marble logo inserts. Photography by Zack Benson.

The pink-and-green color scheme at Morning Glory is head-to-toe, down to the checkered terrazzo tile. Photography by Zack Benson.

The team spent 400 hours CNC carving the private banquette out of Douglas Fir. Photography by Zack Benson.

The low dining room ceilings are brightened by a laser-etched mirror finish, which is backlit and trimed in high-gloss walnut and maple. Photography by Zack Benson.

Read more: Basile Studio Raises the Roof for San Diego's Born & Raised

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