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Pirilo Pizza Rústica, 1st Floor


Eduardo Rubio


Restaurant & Bar



Location or Director:

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico


Commercial / Low budget

Pirilo Pizza Rústica in Old San Juan was the first project Space Design carried out for Eduardo Rubio. Sophie Aurélie hesitated to take the project because she already worked on that same tiny space years before and knew the challenges of working in the old city. But the enthusiasm of this new client and the trust he put on her creativity convinced her. His objective was to create a restaurant with the atmosphere of a family owned business, the ambiance of an Italian eatery, in an Old San Juan setting.

To bring all those ideas together, Sophie Aurelie created a fictional character called Pirilo, a restaurant owner who tells his story from the perspective of a young boy and through items and souvenirs he has amassed throughout his fictitious story.

The low budget for this project allowed minimum construction, focusing the spending on the decorative aspect of the story telling, which was for his love for the pizza, for his mamma, and for Genoveva, his sweetheart. The story was illustrated with Puertorrican antiques, old pictures, altered to look like Pirilo, and fake love letters. Although, to us it was obvious the story was made up, to our surprise, customers believed it was true. It was a success from the very first day. People loved the story and would write to Pirilo personally, in Pirilo’s FaceBook page telling him they wanted to meet him. The staff would play along, making up excuses that he had gone to the bank or was on vacation. Ten years later, some still believe Pirilo’s love story.

Pirilo Pizza Rústica was such a hit that three years later, the client was able to buy the building and extend the restaurant to the second floor ( see Pirilo Old San Juan 2nd Floor)

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