A Restaurant Rejuvenated 

Davanti Enoteca


Little Italy is arguably one of San Diego’s hottest spots for fine dining; dozens of new restaurants have opened there within the last few years and that trend won’t be dying down anytime soon.

That puts pressure on stalwarts like Davanti Enoteca, which opened in 2011, to keep pace with modern design trends without alienating a devout following of “regulars.”

Old World Meets Modern

The new environment had to be a standout, but not a sell-out; long-time Davanti patrons needed to feel at home in the space, even as the restaurant sought to attract new faces.

By drawing on our expertise in human-centered design, Retail Habitats was able to modernize the space and manage the fabrication & install of a new suite of furnishings, fixtures and materials.

From Boring to Bellissimo!

As part of our discovery process, we worked to understand what Davanti’s frequent customers already loved and listened to the things that they’d like to see improved or enhanced. We also explored their sister restaurants – Davanti is has a second location in the heart of Del Mar, CA, and both are part of Chicago-based Franchesca’s Restaurant Group – to ensure we wouldn’t stray from the brand’s core positioning.

An Elegant Evolution

By being thorough with our brand exploration upfront, we were able to focus on the areas that gave Davanti the most bang for their buck: Opening up the central bar area to make it more comfortable and less crowded; updating the layout and furnishings in their charming outdoor patio (including commissioning a full-size mural), and installing new fixtures and finishes in the main dining area.

A Warm "Welcome Back"

Detail Shot Of Light Fixture At Davanti Enoteca Little Italy

Never Missed A Beat

Keeping operations as undisturbed as possible during build-out was a big factor in the planning of Davanti Enoteca’s renovation, and we worked a decent bit of Vendor Coordination magic to make that happen.

The Little Italy location “reopened” in September 2019 and the owners report that we struck the right balance between the familiar and the new; their existing customer base is excited for the modern updates and curious foodies are flocking to check out the restaurant’s updated vibes.


Project Square Footage


Glasses Of Prosecco Consumed During Project Kickoff


Number of Days Restaurant Was Closed During Constuction

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San Diego, CA | Indianapolis, IN