Some 200 million people of Italian descent bowed their heads in embarrassment last week when Italy, for the first time in six decades, failed to qualify for soccer’s World Cup.
“A national shame,” cried a Rome daily. Another paper announced it was one of the darkest pages in Italy’s sporting history: “a brutal slap beyond incalculable harm for a country that lives and breathes soccer.”
Disappointment was brief at Sorrentino’s head office on 109 Street, where the 13-restaurant and caffe chain’s president Carmelo Rago was finalizing plans to invest $3.5 million in two new Italian restaurants.
“Italy sadly couldn’t put the ball in Sweden’s net during two legs, or 180 minutes of soccer,” said Rago, a midfielder for Eastern Illinois University in 1969 – 1974.
“Sport is riddled with strange outcomes. We just have to get over it. Presently I am making sure our four sons have a sound footing in the future.”
The Italian forwards obviously didn’t know where the goals posts were and Rago could have shown them. He set a record that still stands, with 20 goals and 11 assists in the year his university team won the U.S. national championships.
Three of the couple’s four son are retired soccer players and the plan to make sure they all have bright business futures began in 2015 with the opening in St. Albert of BUCO Pizzeria and Vino Bar.
The now much-acclaimed contemporary pizzeria off Bellerose Drive boasts a wood-burning oven, very high ceiling and a warm industrial look.
“We’ve always tried to be forward thinking in the restaurant industry with new ideas and looks,” says Rago. “We balance new ideas with what we think people like.”
Due to open in February in Upper Windermere is a 372 square metre, 170-seat BUCO restaurant with an all-day, European-style bar.
In March, the doors open on a BUCO EPCOR Tower …read more
Source:: Edmonton Journal