The Little Italy restaurant is famous for pioneering authentic Italian cuisine franchises across several cities. Following the desire to birth a masterpiece franchise that embodied Italy’s traditional architecture in India’s busiest city, Mumbai, Little Italy partnered with the Matrika Design Collaborative. This multi-disciplinary architectural firm, known for its commitment to using a brand’s narratives to govern a project’s course from inception to completion, was no different in its approach with this restaurant project.

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Little Italy’s Building Façade_Abhishek Ray_Behance

Matrika Design Collaborative, a well-known firm in India is also known for its experimental, innovative and research-driven approach to its design projects. Each of their projects, as mentioned by them, offers new challenges in unexplored domains of design and experience. Given to their values, they are committed to investing in their expertise and are capable of rendering cross-disciplinary services. Their expertise and work have successfully covered museum and exhibition spaces, retail shops, residential houses, and workspaces. With this, it was then a no-brainer for this firm to embark on the journey of birthing the Little Italy restaurant to life.

A Dream Turned Reality  

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Little Italy’s Building Façade_Abhishek Ray_Behance

The elaborate design brief required a fine dining establishment that would house a ground-floor casual dining area, a fine dining area, and a resto-bar on the topmost level. Situated at Juhu Tara Road in Mumbai, this project was developed in a 110-year-old colonial building in Mumbai. This colonial building earlier served as a popular bar on one of its levels.

In a move to achieve the brief, Matrika Design, while respecting the building’s historical and classical facade, began re-structuring the interior space to accommodate the various components and related services. The old floors were hollowed out in the triangular heritage building, and new building technologies were used to build the levels. The finished project came to have a contemporary, sophisticated and minimalist look.

A Timeless Fusion of Old and New

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Vito Restobar_Matrika Design Collaborative

The design was inspired by traditional Italian architecture, incorporating building elements like terracotta flooring and floral wall panels. The use of sustainable natural materials like warm-toned wood and metal not only creates good contrast but also a warm and inviting atmosphere.

A Dining Experience Tailored to Every Mood

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Ground Floor Casual Italian Dining_Matrika Design Collaborative

Functional zoning being a priority led to the strategic division of the different dining experiences – a casual diner, resto-bar, and fine dining, each with its unique character. The casual dining area is bright and airy, with high ceilings and large windows that let in natural light. This space is perfect for large groups or families. The open kitchen adds visual interest and allows diners to enjoy the view of chefs working their magic, enhancing the dining experience.

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Fine Dine Wine Section_Matrika Design Collaborative

In another section is a private dining room with a more intimate setting for intimate gatherings. This elegant dining room is enhanced by a stunning veneered cabinet and a welcoming wine bar, creating a touch of both luxury and comfort. This dining area is complemented with simple and stylish furniture, and the subtle lighting makes it feel extra special.

The Restaurant’s Focal Point

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Vito Restobar_Matrika Design Collaborative
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Vito Resto Bar_Matrika Design Collaborative

The Vito resto-bar area, located on another level, is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink before or after your meal. The bar, sitting on the topmost level of the building, has a sleek and modern design and is a focal point of the restaurant. The surrounding walls of the resto-bar are acoustically shielded using high-grade insulation, aesthetically stitched into floral wall panels for the space.

Details that Elevate the Experience

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Vito Restobar_Matrika Design Collaborative
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Little Italy’s Building Façade_Abhishek Ray_Behance

As shown in the above Vito resto-bar picture, this floral pattern is a common theme in the entire restaurant as it is etched on the Dutch frosted glass doors and windows. The pattern etching adds to the fine dining establishment ambience as it brings in soft diffused light, creating a sense of privacy for the diners without making them feel completely closed off from the outside world.

Staying true to excellence, a sound system was incorporated into the space to enhance the feel of the tranquil dining environment. Little Italy showcases a blend of old and new architectural styles, preserving its historical character while integrating modern elements. The seamless connections between levels contribute to an intimate and intuitive guest experience.

An Award-Winning Legacy

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Ground-floor Casual Italian Dining_Matrika Design Collaborative_Behance

With Little Italy’s multi-decade existence, the restaurant chain has become India’s largest homegrown Italian brand. Their longevity and dedication to culinary excellence have earned them awards such as the NDTV Design & Architecture Award and the Zee Best of the Best Award.

A Dining Destination Like No Other

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Fine Dine Design__Matrika Design Collaborative

Overall, the Little Italy restaurant in Juhu, Mumbai is a thoughtfully designed space that is stylish and functional. It combines contemporary design with innovative space planning, creating the perfect place to enjoy a delicious Italian meal. This warm and inviting atmosphere is a testament to Matrika Design Collaborative’s commitment to in-depth research, design and engineering solutions.


  1. Media, H.H. (no date) Authentic Italian restaurant, Little Italy. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024). 
  2. K, M. (no date) A great heritage structure in charni road…hopefully should reopen soon – reviews, photos – Royal Opera House, Tripadvisor. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024). 
  3. Little Italy Restaurant (no date) Matrika Design collaborative. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024). 
  4. Matrika Design Collaborative (no date) Matrika Design collaborative. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024). 
  5. Ray, A. (no date) Hospitality and restoration:Little Italy Restaurant:, Behance. Available at: (Accessed: 05 January 2024). 



Elizabeth Ibironke’s passion for Architecture is fueled by her love for providing solutions that not only answer users' needs but inspire and elevate experiences. In addition to this, her experience with content writing has honed her research, communication, and writing skills, which are all essential for effective architectural practice.