- Our Location -
First built in 1919, the building that Sotto Mare occupies was restored to its original plan and configuration between 2003 and 2007. A winery and cigar store during prohibition, it later became the Isle of Capri Italian Family Restaurant. In 1956, the space became the Montclair Italian Family Restaurant, and in 1978, it was sold to legendary USF baseball Coach Dante Benedetti.
After the restoration was completed, Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood Restaurant opened on March 17th. 2007.
Site of Sotto Mare, North Beach, 1925
- About The Owners -
In 2014, the Azzolino family (Rich and his wife Laura, and their children Vito and Ria) purchased Sotto Mare. Rich brought with him a long history in San Francisco restaurants, including stints at Caesar’s, Jovanello’s, Maye’s Oyster House and the California Culinary Academy. Employed by Sotto Mare under previous ownership, Ria had received her North Beach restaurant education well before the family took the place over. Rich and Laura were both born and raised in North Beach, San Francisco’s “Little Italy,” and with Sotto Mare they have created a place where friends, neighbors and worldwide visitors can congregate to indulge in the freshest seafood, good wine, laughter and great stories shared. If the timing is right, you might even hear an old story from Richie himself.
Sotto Mare has been featured on television and in many magazines, and it’s formidable reputation has only grown under the stewardship of the Azzolino family. With a devoted following that literally comes from all corners of the world, Sotto Mare is proudest of its local customer base– and the host of lifelong friends who visit the restaurant daily.
The menu was created to be as close to authentic Italian food as possible, and cooked just like they do it in Italy. Sotto Mare is world-famous for “The Best Damn Crab Cioppino”, but Rich is always testing new dishes, and asking customers about new dishes they might enjoy.
Rich’s other passion is collecting classic, muscle and vintage cars. Occasionally, you can find one of his cars parked in front of the restaurant. I am currently rebuilding a duplicate of my high school car, a 1960 Impala. It definitely brings back good memories!
When not operating Sotto Mare, you can usually find Rich and Laura cruising in one of their classic cars.