Catholic Charity Will Reopen Pizzeria to Offer New Job Training for Clients

A social entrepreneur and a Catholic charity in Cleveland have decided to combine their humanitarian missions and revive a beloved hometown pizza parlor—Ohio City Pizzeria (OCP)—in the process.

The restaurant closed last April, but West Side Catholic Center (WSCC) purchased the building shortly thereafter with the intention of reopening OCP as a nonprofit. Like many social enterprises that earn money while addressing a critical need in the community, OCP will train and hire the WSCC’s clients, teaching them job skills and letting them earn money to get back on their feet.

“We recognized that we had a unique opportunity to reopen a popular eatery that will feed the local community while supporting economic growth initiatives,” WSCC executive director John Litten said in a press release. “In addition, Ohio City Pizzeria will help the West Side Catholic Center serve people in need of food, clothing, shelter, advocacy, and a path to self-sufficiency."

Brandon Chrostowski(above), a veteran restaurateur and social entrepreneur, will oversee the reopening. He founded Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute, which trains formerly incarcerated individuals to work in the foodservice business.

Chrostowski will revamp the old OCP menu. On offer will be pizzas, pastas, calzones, soups, sandwiches, and salads as well as a full-service bar. Profits from the restaurant’s sales will fund WSCC initiatives in the community.