Project Team

design: Melissa Collison Design
lighting: Electrolight


chairs: Thonet, BSeated Global
table bases: Thonet
kitchen manufacture: Triple X
wallpaper: custom by MCD, made by Signature Prints


Originating in Sydney, this would be the first Fratelli Fresh to enter the Melbourne dining scene. Its location – a heritage listed building with beautiful architectural details – inspired Melissa Collison Design to dig deep into Italian food history and culture, and create an environment as authentic as their client’s food.

Previous Sydney venues had capitalised on a fresh food market vibe, but were never particularly ‘designed’ spaces. For Fratelli Fresh at this venue they created a bold space evocative of an old-fashioned Italian trattoria.

The design was inspired by Italian attitudes of insouciance, practiced charm, sensuality, and relaxed yet beautiful dining. Iconic fixtures of Sydney’s Fratelli outposts, including hand written blackboard menus and glossy red tiles, are amplified and re-imagined.

Their client wanted to make the drama of Italian cooking the centrepiece of the restaurant. Melissa Collison Design responded by moving the pizza oven into the middle of the restaurant, surrounding it with an impressive horseshoe shaped marble-clad bar, and encircling it with illuminated overhead signage.

Collaborating with Electrolight, they provided a soft glow to the interior, creating low-lit nooks and enhancing the timeless play of light on glassware and brass joinery.

The compartmentalised nature of the historic building allowed for varying degrees of intimacy and exposure within one restaurant. Patrons can choose to dine within the secluded and moody cellar bar, perch on the bar that allows one to gaze into the fire of the pizza oven, or join the herd in the boisterous main dining room on a leather banquette. 

Melissa Collison Design’s aim was to create a space that seemed like it had always been there. Rather than obscuring existing heritage details, they created a design that allowed the plaster flourishes, decorative corbels and coffered ceilings to sing.

Lisbet Arm Chair

The Lisbet Arm Chair is a beautiful arm chair. Its classic design will suit any restaurant furniture fit out.

BSeated Global

They played up the seductive moodiness of the heritage space by using a deep blood red paint on all of the grand existing heritage timber doorways – weaving the colour of desire and Italian passion into the fabric of the existing heritage beauty.

The design also uses red as a dado racing stripe along the walls, in the sensual yet durable leather upholstery and the custom wallpaper evocative of an Italian Nonna’s 1950s kitchen walls. The glossy, utilitarian wall tiles are reminiscent of a post-war venue with some stories to tell.