Soccer and Panini at Azzurri Vino Bar

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For those of you saddened by the closing of Fremont's Pontevecchio, you'll be happy to note that owner Michele Zacco and his family have opened a new spot not far away on North 36th Street. Unlike the fine dining offered by his former venture, which had a 15-year run, Azzurri Vino Bar is a small cafe that caters to Italian soccer fans, and burgeoning Sounders fanatics, with three flat-screen TVs eternally tuned to futbol.

Zacco, who came from Sicily 16 years ago, tells us he decided to close Pontevecchio after the passing of his mother, and after he realized he wanted to spend more time with his two preteen children and the third on the way. "The hours are longer [at Azzurri], but the job is easier," says Zacco, "and nothing is better in life than being a good father and husband." Azzurri's menu, like the space itself, is simple, offering a few options for panini (all named after soccer teams) and salads along with house-made gelato, pastries, and espresso, with most dishes not exceeding $6. And if you go to pay for your sandwich and realize you've only got Euros on you, Azzurri will gladly accept them.

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