Who are the owners of Citizen Pie?
Vytauras Sasnauskas, Claudia Young and Paulius Nasvytis
What did you each do before forming Citizen Pie?
Vytauras (aka V) was the owner and chef at Americano in Bratenahl Place. Claudia was in the music business in Nashville. Paulius owns The Velvet Tango Room.
Why was Collinwood selected as your location?
Paulius grew up in Collinwood. Alan Glazen of GlazenUrban, a private community development corporation, brought us to the location, and we liked it. Collinwood, and Waterloo specifically seemed like a perfect spot for our first location. We could start small and grow with the community. We have grown to love and respect our neighborhood. It is filled with so many great people.
What made you decide to go in together and open a pizzeria?
We have been close friends of V, and he wanted out of the restaurant business since pizza was his 10-year hobby, and we just thought it sounded like a great idea to open a shop. Again, Alan Glazen was very instrumental in coming up with the idea to do the pizzeria. It just made sense. We all said “yes” and never looked back.
Of all the toppings that you can put on a pizza, how was the menu decided?
That’s all V. He tends to get his best inspiration in the shower. But, really, V has a brilliant mind when it comes to food. He is an amazing talent.
I hear that your pizza sells out fast. When’s the best time to come by?
No slices are available. We sell 12-inch pies only. We rarely run out of dough, but it has happened about a dozen times in 18 months.
Do you have specials?
We always have one rotating special – about one per month.
How does V stay so thin eating all that pizza?
I’m not sure, but I hate him for it. Big time. (The man rarely stops moving.)
Why is the shop called “Citizen Pie?” I know V grew up under Soviet occupation.
The name came to me, and I just really liked it. The name Citizen Pie is really not about V’s life in Lithuania.
What do you do when you are not making pizza?
V is a busy man with two active kids and a big yard, but he loves to cook. It’s his true passion. He is also a big Cavs fan!
Any plans to franchise or open additional locations?
Yes. We are opening this summer on W. 25th St. We’re under construction right now.
Where do you buy most of your ingredients?
Every ingredient we use is seriously considered. You just have no idea… so, our sources are pretty spread out.
Where is the next place you want to travel?
Back to Italy