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Fonda Hawthorn by Technē Architects and Wild Hen

Fonda Hawthorn by Technē Architects and Wild Hen


Images by Peter Tarasiuk. Article by Bryan Chung.

Fonda Mexican’s latest opening in Hawthorn’s Glenferrie Road precinct is a visual feast of fun.  The funky restaurant was designed by Technē Architecture + Interior Design and Wild Hen Designs, the canny collaborators behind two of Fonda’s quirky Melbourne eateries.

fonda lead

Serving fresh and locally sourced Mexican food, the restaurant’s design is a modern take of the Mexican ‘fonda’, which is a native housing typology that features an open kitchen.

The designers have sought to recreate the different spatial experiences of the ‘fonda’: the courtyard, patio, home, and backyard. The restaurant’s internal spaces were loosely structured around these components in order to create a more intimate and homely experience for diners.


Working with the inherited features of the old Hawthorn corner building, the designers opted to retain the building’s original timber trusses, exposed red brick walls and concrete flooring.

Repetitive graphic motifs were borrowed from traditional Mexican architecture, and can be seen in the colourful geometric grills across the windows, a signature in Mexican homes and restaurants.


Bespoke furniture was crafted to create unique and varied seating options. Diners can choose to snuggle up in cosy booths, sit at small tables on stunning chairs by Billiani, or perch informally at the bar.  Retro striped cushions recall the relaxed feel of lawn furniture, while earthy terracotta pot lights from Anchor ceramics hang from above.


The restaurant presents a sophisticated colour palette of pastel pink custom steel screens, vibrant yellow besser blocks, and electric blue steel structures around the kitchen, supplied from Melbourne Iron and Steel, and is a playfully quirky feature of the latest addition to Fonda’s vibrant restaurant chain.


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