The former owner of Carini’s Gino Monterosso has left town owing the Town of Buchanan over $5,000 in meals taxes and some of the employees got stiffed on the final paycheck. The case is under investigation by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.
On December 21 a sign appeared on the door that stated, “Closed for vacation,” said building owner Mario Fantz Carcioppolo. Carcioppolo lives in Ohio. He received a call from a friend of the Carini ownership who said that the fellow had left to go back to Italy. “I was stunned, I had my teen daughter in the car and we were going to her birthday dinner. We went closer to home to eat and then I drove here.”
Though hurt by the move, Carcioppolo offered the former staff a job helping him clean the dining area and kitchen and gave them a little party. Carcioppolo believes in making lemonade out of life’s lemons. The building is pristine and looks like it is ready for the next group of diners.
“I don’t want to hurt anyone, ” he said referring to being left high and dry. “Whatever people do is going to come back to them. They don’t need me to add to it.” Carini’s had two years left on the lease and after pulling out the calculator, Carcioppolo figures it was very close to $50,000 plus some back rent.
He is looking for a buyer for the building or a new reliable restaurant in the site. He would think a new Mexican restaurant might fit the bill. It has three floors and an open bay area in the basement that could be used for a James River related business, he said. He painted the basement of the building in November and upstairs since he returned.
The building will be listed in February if he can’t find a new business to go into the site. “It has been a successful site obviously.” (Referring to the back meals taxes owed to the town.) As for Mario Carcioppolo, he is trying to make the best of a bad situation until he can get back to his life in Ohio.