Grand Central Mall Curbside Pick Up
Michael Ruscitto - Founder, Owner, and Operator
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY by Italian Immigrant parents, Mike entered the pizza world in his mid twenties, working at a small Mom & Pop pizzeria in Long Island, NY. After a few years learning the art of pizza, Mike ventured south to open a pizza place of his own. When he reached Pittsburgh, PA, he was introduced to an opportunity of a small location in a 1 year old mall in Vienna, WV. Within months, Mike transformed the small space pizzeria, introducing a new concept to West Virginians that was the pizza norm in NY- Pizza By the Slice. After a years of growth, Mike decided to expand his brand, and called in help from extended family. Mike and his new partners opened 4 more locations over the next 20 years, but eventually separated in 1999. Mike sold some of his locations, but kept the Grand Central Mall & Myrtle Beach locations, eventually closing the SC store just a few years later. In 2012, Mike opened the Downtown Marietta location, and can be found daily in both his Grand Central Mall and Marietta pizzerias.
The Original Pizza Place was founded in the Grand Central Mall in 1976 by our current owner and Brooklyn, NY native, Michael Ruscitto. After a few years of success in the Grand Central Mall, Mike opened the South Side Pizza Place, bringing in a partner, his Uncle Franco, in 1978. After expanding their ownership to 5 partners, they opened three more stores in a period of 15 years- another location in Parkersburg, WV (across from Parkersburg High School), a location in the Meadowbrook Mall in Bridgeport, WV, and in Myrtle Beach, SC. In the late 1990’s, the partnership disbanded, and each took their own stores. Mike currently owns and manages, the first and Original Pizza Place in the Grand Central Mall, and opened the newest location in downtown Marietta, Ohio in 2012. To distinguish himself from the locations he no longer owns or operates, Mike has rebranded as The Original Pizza Place, Since 1976.
The Original Pizza Place was voted Readers' Choice "BEST PIZZA" in Marietta, Ohio's Marietta Times and Parkersburg, WV's News and Sentinel in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and "BEST GLUTEN FREE PIZZA" in 2016 and 2017.
Voted Readers Choice
2013 2014 2015
"Best Gluten Free Pizza"
2016 & 2017
Jeff Bailey- "The Iron Man"
The longest team member with The Pizza Place, Jeff has gone from dishwasher to Manager and Pizzaioli since his start in 1986. His smile, sense of humor, and expertise at Sicilian Pizza has gotten him quite a fan club. After 29 years, Jeff says his work is still fun and it feels like we are one big family.
Rusty Gray- "The Animal"
"I am fortunate enough that Pizza Place was my 1st job and that Mike taught me what team work and hard work were about from the start. I ventured away taking those lessons and learning new skills I eventually brought back to Pizza Place 6 years ago when I realized that pizza was my passion. I was honored to be brought back to my family away from home where I strive every day to get better and serve the Mid Ohio Valley community with the best pizza I can, with the best team of employees and friends that still encourage me to be better every day."
Kasandra Ruscitto Pritchett-
After 5 years living in NC, Kasandra decided to return to her roots of the family pizza business and join the team in opening the Marietta store in 2012. She manages marketing, public relations, and HR for the company. Kasandra was also chosen Regina Maria 36th, "Queen", of the WV Italian Heritage Festival, reigning 2014-2015. When she's not uploading photos of pizza to social media, you can find her eating pizza, talking about pizza, or serving pizza. #pizza
RIchie Harris- "The Artist"
Nicknamed the artist because of his artistic skill in everything including making Pizza, Richie has been a part of the management team for almost 10 years.