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Online Exclusive - Matto Bar and Pizzeria, Shanghai

Sep 17, 2013


Darryl Goveas and Yenn Wong are like-minded individuals who understand that successful restaurants are about much more than the food. Hong Kong-based Goveas established Pure Creative in 1996 and has designed a number of dining establishments in greater China including Chez Patrick, Centro in Kerry Centre Hotel Beijing, and Issimo in Jia Boutique Hotel Shanghai, the last being one of Wong’s ventures. He partners once again with the founder of Jia, 208 Duecento Otto and 22 Ships on her concept for Matto, a two-story Naples-style pizzeria and bar in Shanghai’s Super Brand Mall.

                        
                                                         Photography courtesy of Pure Creative

“The concept is casual, all-day dining at a relatively low price point for Shanghai,” says Goveas. “I wanted to give the space a rustic, family feel and looked into industrial architecture, but wanted to keep it modern.”

                                            
                                                             Photography courtesy of Pure Creative

The roughly 2,500 square feet of space includes a mezzanine that extends out to an additional 1,200-square-foot outdoor terrace. The main dining room on the ground floor looks into an open kitchen and bar, with a wood burning pizza oven as its focal point. The custom-built oven features bricks and stones shipped from Italy, assembled by a Neapolitan artisan flown in to put it together.

                          
                                                                 Photography courtesy of Pure Creative

In Italian, Matto is a term that means crazy or wild. Goveas interpreted this by juxtaposing unexpected materials and textures. “The key was finding interesting textures and contrasting them,” he notes, “to make it resemble an old Tuscan house or a tanning factory. Aluminum ceiling tiles, copper pendant lights, Italian travertine flooring, raw iron, green leather on the sofa, bricks on the walls—these all add to the space and provide warmth. The concrete wall in the main dining room was laid with planks of wood, which were then removed but left a grainy texture.”

                         
                                                              Photography courtesy of Pure Creative

Open shelving showcasing wine, tins, and jars of Italian products provide eye candy while further emphasizing the rustic, corner tavern feel of the space. For blackboards highlighting specials and other items, a Venetian graffiti artist provided whimsical cartoons of Matto’s ingredients and signature dishes along with the logo.

                                              
                                                             Photography courtesy of Pure Creative

“The logo’s lettering is deliberately imperfect,” Goveas points out. “We tend to strive too much for perfection in our daily lives.”

                         
                                                             Photography courtesy of Pure Creative

A variety of seating caters to an infinite number of different dining groupings. These range from black metal barstools and chairs, a spin on the traditional Windsor slat back wooden chairs, leather banquets, and a long blue and brown plaid high wing back sofa, to name just a few. The metal is repeated in the thin vertical members surrounding the staircase.

                                          
                                                            Photography courtesy of Pure Creative


“The biggest challenges were maximizing the ceiling height and getting the quality that we sought in the restaurant’s construction,” says Goveas.

                                         
                                                         Photography courtesy of Pure Creative





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Produced by: Emerald Expositions
Nielsen      Contract Design | Hospitality Design | K+BB | DDI



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