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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Palo Alto's Cafe Venetia to open wine bar

Uploaded: Jan 25, 2018
Downtown Palo Alto's Cafe Venetia is expanding next door with an Italian-focused wine bar.

The owners see Enoteca Venetia as a "natural extension" of the 419 University Ave. cafe, which prides itself as an authentic Italian cafe that sources coffee directly from Northern Italy, said Leigh Biddlecome, the cafe's public relations agent.

The wine bar, at 417 University Ave., will serve 20 wines by the glass and 80 by the bottle, with a focus on regions including Piedmont, Tuscany, Venice, Sicily and Sardinia. The list, curated by an Italian sommelier, will feature Italian wines from small- and medium-sized producers that are "otherwise difficult to find on the West Coast," Biddlecome said.


The future home of Enoteca Venetia on University Avenue in Palo Alto. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

Enoteca Venetia will also offer wine tastings. "Knowledgeable Italian and Italian-trained staff" will be on hand to provide information about the winemakers.

Traditional wine-pairing food will be served, such as Italian salume and cheese.

"It is this particularly Italian mix of wine, coffee, culture and history that Cafe Venetia is passionate about bringing to its community of customers — and through it, access to the very best of the lifestyle and culture accompanying it," a press release states.

As part of construction on the next-door space, Cafe Venetia will also be upgraded, with an expanded coffee section and a lounge on the section floor. The cafe will remain open during construction.

Cafe Venetia, which opened in 2006, is a member of the European Specialty Coffee Association and the European Slow Food Movement. As such, it adheres strict guidelines for coffee and food preparation, the cafe's website states. The cafe also sells food products sourced from small, high-end Italian producers.


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