When Mike Frangos founded Rascal House in 1980, he started a Cleveland icon and grew his business into a great big happy family. A family of passionate, hard-working people who believe in what they do, and do it with smiles on their faces.
He was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, but lived most of his life in Cleveland, Ohio. Everyone he befriended has a story to tell. How he loved telling jokes and spending time with his grandchildren. How he genuinely loved being around people. I remember the first time I met the founder of Rascal House. I was with my family – my wife and 4 kids – sitting in a booth at the original location on Euclid and East 21st, eating a Bellybuster pizza and fries, when a gentleman came over to our table and gave us a bag of Rascal House chocolate chip cookies, on the house. He told me what a nice family I had, and thanked me for being at Rascal House. It never crossed my mind to tell him the pleasure’s all mine…or that I ate here practically every day when I was in college…or I was just telling my kids about the time I saw Hall of Fame football player Larry Csonka in this very place the morning of the 1987 Revco Cleveland Marathon and 10K. Meeting Mike added to the fascinating wonder I always had for Rascal House. A few years later I would write a story about what this pizza place meant to me and email it to the person who’s in charge of this blog. She showed it to Mike and Mike asked if I had more.
He was always thinking of new ways to grow his business, but putting his spin on traditional favorites was his specialty. He believed that great food should not only be enjoyed under the Rascal House roof, where those ‘rascals from Cleveland State’ hang out, but at offices, graduations, weddings – wherever you find families, laughter and good times. Although Mike passed away in 2018, his legacy lives on with every pizza we make, every event we cater and every story we tell.
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