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Tosci's to open in Student Center

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Tosci's to open in Student Center

There will be a Toscanini's Ice Cream store in the Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center "by the first week in October," according to owner Gus Rancatore. The opening will end a year-long production process that was "time-consuming and frustrating," Rancatore said.

It was MIT who approached Rancatore with the idea of opening a Toscanini's in the Student Center, after having conducted surveys to determine which stores would encite student interest. Although "not that enthusiastic" at first, Rancatore decided it was a "good oppurtunity" as well as a "fun thing to do," he said.

Originally, Toscanini's was to occupy the space now occupied by Newbury Comics, and had that been the case the store would have been "open long ago," Rancatore said. Instead the store was relocated to beneath the outdoor stairs, an area which was once handicapped access ramps.

The enclosure of this area was simple, but the fact that it was not part of the original structure led to several constructional problems, such as "extraordinary heating and cooling costs," Rancatore said. At one point it was estimated that construction costs would reach $250,000 "before furnishing or equipment," he noted.

The new Toscanini's also ran into financing problems. Initially, MIT had agreed to finance the project, but then decided against it. Alternative financing also fell through before financing for the store was obtained.

Rancatore noted that "everyone worked overly long hours to get everything straightened out" and was "sorry for all the delays."

Although the project became "much more of an ordeal than" he had anticipated, Rancatore was very appreciative that "over a period of time MIT and Toscanini's worked things out so that it would be affordable to put an ice cream store" in the Student Center.