Piazza Italia in the Dunning neighborhood on July 8, 2021, ahead of the Euro 2021 match of Italy vs. England. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

DUNNING — You can watch the final game of the UEFA Euro 2020 Cup final between Italy and England this weekend at a popular Far Northwest Side Italian bar.

Italian restaurant BarTucci, 3426 N. Harlem Ave. in Dunning, will host a big watch party for the final game starting 1 p.m. Sunday in the Piazza Italia parking lot, which is home to a variety of Italian shops.

Italy and England are set to face off at 2 p.m. Central for the final game of the 2020 tournament, which started a month ago after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gino Bartucci, owner of BarTucci and a big soccer fan, decided to host the watch party after a successful turnout to his Tuesday watch party, which attracted people from all over Illinois.

Bartucci thinks Italy can win again to take home the 2020 title.

“I am looking forward to Italy winning. I believe we can and we deserve it, especially after missing the World Cup,” said Bartucci, a first-generation Italian American whose family has operated neighboring restaurant Pasta Fresh for decades.

A banner for Italia hangs in BarTucci’s window in the Dunning neighborhood on July 8, 2021 ahead of the Euro 2021 match of Italy vs. England. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Bartucci said the watch party goes beyond enjoying the game — it’s about uniting the Northwest Side Italian community and reminding young generations about the simple pleasures of Italy: food and soccer.

“At the end of the day, there is nothing that brings the Italian community together better than soccer and food,” he said. “If we can use those things to put out a message of unity and to help each other thrive in business or make the community safer, or bring up a new generation into older traditions, I think our job is done and we are successful.”

Bartucci, who is also the president of the Harlem Avenue Little Italy Business Association, said the watch party will have three projectors for people to view the game, and food will be available to buy from the Piazza Italia shops. There will also be a food truck on site and a DJ set by Frank DiPaolo.

If it rains Sunday, the event will be moved inside BarTucci, the owner said. He suggests people get there early and they come wearing blue or the red, white and green of the Italian flag.

BarTucci, which has been in the neighborhood for seven years and was named one of the Top 5 Best Italian Restaurants by the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2020 competition, is known for making in-house pasta dishes and sourcing locally — like from its backyard garden, Bartucci said.

“All the businesses around Harlem, we get our sausage, our bread, our coffee [locally], so it’s really important for me to keep that going,” he said.

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