Deco Pizza is the Art Deco Pizzeria You Didn’t Know You Needed, Until Now

See how interior designer, Lisa Bakke, transformed a gas-station-turned-restaurant into a modern pizzeria.

By GR Chair

Collection of Opla Tables and Chairs.

We’re not sure what part of Deco Pizzeria we love more, the fact that “Mama Deco” (the matriarch whose pizza dough recipe has become a San Antonio staple) still greets you at the door every time you walk in, or the unexpected and—dare we say—fearless use of color that covers every surface of the interior.

If I’m being honest, the unusual, custom colored outdoor chairs are what first piqued my interest in Deco Pizzeria. Ash violet isn’t a color you traditionally see in most modern restaurants, so I was dying to learn more. Turns out, that custom color is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes the layers of detail that makes this restaurant a standout.

Interior designer Lisa Bakke was originally hired to help restore and reinvent Deco Pizzeria’s first location (pictured above) in the Monticello neighborhood of San Antonio. The former gas-station-turned-restaurant was built in 1938 and features design elements that marry Art Deco and Spanish Mission style details together.

Owner Jacob Venezuela wanted to celebrate the rich history of the Monticello neighborhood,  a historic building district lined with Art Deco architecture. Deco Pizzeria aims to be a catalyst for the neighborhood’s commercial revitalization efforts.

But, restoring a historical property can feel more like a game of Russian roulette than a surefire investment. Months of waiting for the city council’s historic landmark designation combined with the usual building permits and approval processes pushed Venezuela to open a second location...enter Deco Pizzeria’s Medical Center location.

“We wanted it to be an experience, and to bring the flavor of Deco District to our second location up the road in the Medical Center neighborhood.” says Lisa Bakke, Deco Pizzeria’s interior designer, who began working on the space in late 2017.

Inspired by the history of the original location, the Medical Center space does the unthinkable, transforming a strip mall setting into an Art Deco-inspired pizzeria and art bar.

Opened in August 2018, the 2,500 square foot space seats 50 guests inside and extends to an outdoor patio for additional seating. Once inside, there is no shortage of “wow” moments to take in, from the custom designed and handmade Redondo tiles that flank the bar, to the 7 foot custom shelving unit and even the lilac-esque wall color. It is truly an immersive experience. Lisa admittedly went out on a limb with the pale purple color, but the reception from the community is nothing shy of encouraging.

Black Felix chairs at pizzeria.

The interior restaurant chairs and barstools ground the space in neutral finishes allowing the restaurant’s more subtle (and not so subtle, i.e. pink flamingo sign) details to breathe. The dark finishes also complement the graphic tiles at the bar.

“Redondo tiles are everywhere in San Antonio, and the green color set the tone for the entire restaurant and acted as a major inspiration for why I selected the light purple accent color. These tiles were custom designed and handmade in Mexico.”

Bakke brought the bold color palette outside with a variety of outdoor chairs, barstools and tables. Custom colored dining chairs and tables bring the Ash Violet color onto the patio, while glossy white barstools line the outdoor artisan cocktail counter.

Just a few weeks into the soft-opening and the restaurant has already started expanding the footprint of their Medical Center location. Bakke added, “we’re excited to see the Monticello location come to life.”

Based off of these pictures it should come as no surprise that when we asked Bakke about which restaurant trends she was excited to see fade away, her immediate reaction was “industrial everything.”

It's refreshing to see a pizza concept that breaks with tradition and opts for unexpected colors and layers of deco-inspired details. We'll keep you posted as the second location develops.

If you want to learn more about adding color to you next project check out our Color Finder brochure, which puts 150 more metal finishes at your fingertips and can be used on any of our metal chairs or tables.