Owner Craig Plackis said he started CraigO’s to bring the community fresh-tasting Italian food and provide a positive work environment for his neighbors’ children.

In June 2003, CraigO’s Pizza and Pastaria opened as a scratch-made Italian restaurant in Sunset Valley and now has two other locations in Austin and offers delivery.

“Two of [the children] have gone on to become owners, and we have a third crew member who will open another location in the near future,” Plackis said.

Plackis said CraigO’s stems from a nickname that stuck with him from childhood.

“My dad, after long conversations of coming up with names [for the restaurant], basically told me to name it after myself because I would be there so much,” Plackis said.

The recipes used at CraigO’s have been passed down for generations and are made from scratch.

“We call it New York style as we have a thin, crispy crust, and the dough is tasty,” Plackis said. “We make our products daily, which is atypical for our style restaurant and price point.”

Plackis said he offers affordable Italian specialties with everything from the hand-rolled meatballs to the dough, sauces, pastas and dressings—they are all made in-store and will remain that way as long as the restaurant is open.

“We have been very fortunate and blessed to serve our Austin community over the last 20 years, and we look forward to another 20,” Plackis said. “No matter what Austin has thrown at us—COVID[-19], ice storms, water boils—CraigO’s has the best fans anyone could wish for. Their support is truly overwhelming.”