Build-Your-Own Artisanal Pizza Restaurant Set to Open in The Paramount at South Market District January 2015
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza (Blaze), the nation’s leading build-your-own pizza chain, announced today that it will soon be opening its first New Orleans location this January in The Paramount at South Market District (611 O’Keefe Avenue). Blaze features an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients – all for under $8.
“Our mission at Blaze is really simple – we’re all about bringing the community a place where guests can connect, create and enjoy great pizza at crazy fast speed,” says Jim Mizes, president & COO of Blaze Pizza. “If you think about it, there hasn’t been a good way to enjoy a made-from-scratch pizza without the wait. Now there is. We believe this will be a game-changer in New Orleans.”
Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. After selecting your choice of toppings in the restaurant’s unique assembly-line process, the generously-sized 11-inch pizzas are sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese.
Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (“The Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take the years I’ve spent developing my dough recipe and bring it to a new audience,” says Chef Kent. “We’re really looking forward to introducing the Blaze concept to New Orleans.”
To show its commitment to New Orleans, Blaze will feature custom wall art that promotes the culture and heritage of the city. The New Orleans restaurant will also feature a selection of wine and craft beer on tap, including local favorites from Nola Brewery and Abita.
“Blaze offers an incredible product in a fun and attractive atmosphere, and we’re excited to add them to the unique mix of restaurants in the South Market District,” says Matt Schwartz, Co-Founder of The Domain Companies, South Market’s developers. “We believe Blaze will quickly become a destination for lunch downtown, a pre or post-game tradition and a neighborhood standby that area residents will love to frequent time and again. Blaze’s enthusiasm for New Orleans-inspired design and commitment to source local products convinced us that they were the perfect addition to The Paramount.”
The company’s mantra of making “intelligent choices” goes beyond selecting the best ingredients and serving exceptional pizzas. Each restaurant is carefully designed to suit its own space, with award-winning architect Ana Henton thoughtfully applying industrial elements and fire-inspired colors to each location – creating a warm, inviting environment that fits within the local neighborhood. Additionally, Blaze is committed to sustainability and uses eco-friendly packaging and locally sourced ingredients whenever practical.
The first Blaze Pizza restaurant opened on August 6, 2012 in Irvine, CA, and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes and “build-your-own pizza” assembly-line format. Described by Zagat as “One of 10 Innovative Restaurants in Los Angeles,” Blaze Pizza is developing a cult following as it expands across the U.S. The company currently operates restaurants in 11 states and the District of Columbia, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza.
The Paramount represents the first phase of growth for the South Market District, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development encompassing a five-block area in the heart of downtown New Orleans. Once complete, South Market will feature retailers, restaurants, a boutique hotel, and 700 apartments. The Paramount is also home to 209 luxury apartments and 21,500 square feet of commercial space. For more information, please visit www.paramountnola.com.