Architecture and Design

Behind the Design of Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, Bar Bianco, and Italian Restaurant with Owner Chris Bianco

Chris Bianco's mom used to take him to antique and thrift stores all the time when he was little to look for frames for his father's artwork. He hated it.

Growing up, Bianco was surrounded by art. His mother, Francesca, was a designer who created everything from wedding veils to watercolors. His father, Leonard, was a painter. 

They lived and worked in New York, where Chris learned how to pull his own mozzarella and toss a kickass pizza dough. When he moved to Phoenix and put the two together, the rest was history. 

Now, Bianco's a junkie for a good thrifting find, and it shows in all four of his spots -- Pizzeria Bianco, Bar Bianco, Pane Bianco, and Italian Restaurant -- in Phoenix. The design of each of his places is a painstaking process. He starts with an empty space and spends hours imagining the flow of the people and the environment he wants to create. 

Each of his spaces is extremely personal. At least half of the artwork on the walls is his father's or has close family roots. Other pieces and design inspirations are done by close friends including Pete Deise, Sloane McFarland, and his brother, Marco Bianco (to name a few). 

He's often spotted carrying a notepad or sketchbook that's filled with the latest doodle for an upcoming menu, business card, or postcard (he's designed all of them), a song he'll toss in one of his restaurant's playlists, or an idea for an upcoming menu item. 

"A space's design is just as important as the food it serves," Bianco says. And at any of his four places, both are spot on. 

Chris Bianco led us through his restaurants and dished design inspirations and background. Check out the whole slideshow here. 

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton