"I was very blindsided," Mangialardo tells RFT. "I love the place. I did everything from the cocktails to the drinks to the atmosphere."

The lawsuit says Sommers, Uible and Mangialardo verbally agreed that Mangialardo would acquire a 2 percent stake in the pizzeria.

But Mangialardo has yet to see a penny.

"[Pi] is as successful as it is today because of him, and for them to just cast him aside when they were done getting what they got from him is totally improper," says Tim Lemen, Mangialardo's attorney. "[Sommers and Uible] now flat-out deny that he was ever an owner."

Kyler Humphrey, Sommers' and Uible's attorney, has not yet returned a phone call for comment. 

Mangialardo says he started out as Pi's chef and then became general manager (while continuing some kitchen duties).

Sommers bought the recipe for Pi's cornmeal-encrusted dough from a San Francisco restaurant; Mangialardo says he tweaked the basic recipe and devised the different pizza styles, appetizers and salads.

The pizzeria got a big boost earlier this year after Mangialardo and Sommers got invited to the White House by President Obama. Mangialardo calls cooking for the POTUS "the experience of a lifetime."

Pi is expanding to the CWE and Kirkwood.
—Kristen Hinman

City's Only LGBT Paper Shuts Down
The Vital Voice has ceased publication until January 2010. The monthly newspaper serving St. Louis' LGBT community published its last issue for 2009 in September. Voice publisher and owner, Pam Schneider, tells Daily RFT that she decided to shut down the paper for the rest of the year to concentrate on a redesign of the publication. 

The Voice is also leaving its current space in the city's Grove neighborhood for a yet-to-be-determined location. Schneider, who owns the building that now houses the paper, says she's selling the property. She hopes to relocate in the Grove or Central West End neighborhood.

"The economics of it all — with us moving offices and doing a major redesign — it just made sense to take the time and money we need to focus on coming out in 2010 the way we want," she says. 

Schneider says the Voice has a monthly circulation of between 13,000 and 15,000 and will continue to provide online content during the temporary shutdown of the print edition.
—Chad Garrison

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