Local Ice Cream Chain Opens At New Mass. Ave. Location

Toscanini's to Feature Coffee Drinks, Baked Goods, Sorbet

Toscanini's, an ice cream shop that opened last week at 1310 Mass. Ave.--the location recently vacated by Ultimate Bagel--was doing brisk business during yesterday's warm weather.

Part of a small chain--there's another Toscanini's in Central Square and a third one at MIT -- the store features coffee drinks and a small selection of baked goods in addition to ice cream and sorbet.

Although Toscanini's faces competition from the many ice cream and coffee vendors in Harvard Square, Manager Jamie C. DiBattista said he hopes the store will have something unique to offer.

"The quality of our ice cream, the quality of our ingredients is much better than Herrell's or Baskin Robbins, which also makes it a little more expensive," DiBattista said.

Apparently there are some worries about the competition, though. A large sign in the store's window offers customers who bring a half-full cup of coffee from another store a large cup of Toscanini's coffee.

"We're just trying to get people to like our coffee," DiBattista said. "We have to be a little aggressive because there are so many coffee stores around here."

DiBattista also said that Toscanini's is trying to aim at a variety of consumers.

"We're opening at seven so obviously we're looking at people who work around here and also Harvard students," said DiBattista. "This is a prime tourist location so we're also looking at that."

DiBattista said he hopes this versatility will help the store survive in the Square. "When the students leave the tourists will come," he said.

Some customers at the store yesterday said they liked the new offerings at Toscanini's.

Grace J. Gordon, a local resident, said she had noticed the new sign when she drove by and stopped in later for a cappuccino ice cream.

"This is the best ice cream I've ever tasted," Gordon said. She said she thought the new store would prosper. "Everything sells in this square," Gordon said.

Her sister, Glynis, visiting from New Hampshire, agreed. "Judging by the quality of this creamsicle they should do very well," she said.