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.”
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.