Ice-cream starved fans need whine no more. Toscanini's is back in business.
The Central Square sweet spot got the keys back from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue today after handing over more than $30,000 it raised from fans over the last five days. The revenue department shut down the popular dessert destination a week ago because the owners failed to pay more than $167,000 in taxes dating back to 2000.
An ice cream maker threw up a website last week, savetosci.com, to help raise funds for a down payment so that the Toscanini's owners Gus and Mimi Rancatore could open the shop again while paying back those delinquent taxes.
Bob Bliss, a spokesman for the revenue department, said Toscanini's "paid a substantial amount on the taxes owed and came up with a solid repayment plan which we'll be closely monitoring."
Mimi Rancatore said all of the money raised has been turned over to the state, and even though the website surpassed its fundraising goal of $25,000, she plans to keep it going for awhile. The site drew praise from fans, lots of donations, and a number of critical comments from people upset at a business asking customers to pay for delinquent taxes.
"I'm incredibly grateful," Rancatore said. "I certainly understand people's issues with helping us because we're a for-profit business. We're not denying we made a mistake."
For now, Rancatore said she plans to post a list in the shop of all the people who made donations and go back to the business of serving up ice cream. When the weather gets warmer, Toscanini's hopes to do a larger customer appreciation event.
Free ice cream day, perhaps?
(By Jenn Abelson, Globe staff)