Boston, MA A Boston staple since the original shop opened in 1926 in the North End, locals know the name Regina Pizzeria as well as they know the inviting smells and the familiar signage. Now, the regionally iconic chain’s Fenway location has been treated to a refresh by the hospitality innovators design team at Dyer Brown — and the results hint at the future of the brand.
Originally, Regina Pizzeria’s ownership was thinking only about the Fenway Park location, in operation since 2013, when they reached out to Dyer Brown about an update. Their goal was a revamp done in time to reopen ahead of the 2020 Red Sox season. According to Dave Rader, AIA, senior project manager with Dyer Brown, “In the end, they liked the cost-effective redesign concept so much the conversation turned to establishing the Fenway project as a prototype for all of the chain’s takeout locations.”
The concept for the renovation aims to modernize the shop while preserving the aesthetic at the heart of the Regina Pizzeria brand. Many of the changes are subtle, but help to add a sleek quality without straying from the traditional branding: refinishing the yellow walls in white, for example, and upgrading the counter tops to black granite. Along these lines, the wood chairs have been replaced with modern seats in a gunmetal finish.
To balance these updates with the original warmth and evoke the brand’s cozy North End origins, woodgrain paneling covers the customer-facing side of the counters and forms a wainscoting under a large red section of wall adorned with Red Sox memorabilia. Other elements help tie the look together, blending the iconic original with the contemporary. Above the ovens where menus are on display, Rader’s team articulated the prominent red soffit in black steel trim, with a black metal mesh, and over the ovens themselves, the acoustical tile ceiling is also painted black. Illuminated by LED track lighting, the overall effect is bold, yet warm and inviting.
“Most important, the updated elements create a connection to the original branding elements, like the familiar T-shaped blade sign that hangs out front,” says Rader. “The location retains its appeal for regulars while welcoming first-time visitors.”
Dyer Brown has already begun discussions with Regina Pizzeria’s owner about rolling out the Fenway prototype across the chain’s 15 stores, including locations in the Boston Metro area.