Build-Your-Own Artisanal Pizza Chain Set To Open First Three Of Ten Restaurants In South Florida
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the nation’s leading build-your-own pizza chain, today announced that it will soon be coming to South Florida. The fast-casual concept, known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, will have three area locations by early 2015. The first restaurant will open in Ft. Lauderdale’s Uptown Centre (6334 North Andrews Avenue), located across the street from the Cypress Creek Tri-Rail Station, in October 2014. A second location in Boca Raton’s Fifth Avenue Shops (2146 North Federal Highway) is planned for December, and a third, in Davie, near Nova Southeastern University (2101 South University Drive) will open in early 2015.
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. Each restaurant 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. The generously-sized 11-inch pizzas are then 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. 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. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The South Florida restaurants will also feature a selection of wine and craft beer.
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.
“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,” said 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 town.”
The expansion of Blaze Pizza into South Florida is being done by an investment group that will be led by Levy Family Partners. Levy Family Partners was established by entrepreneur Larry Levy, founder of Levy Restaurants. In additional to the 10-store franchise development agreement in Florida, the group will develop Blaze Pizza in the Chicago market. The investment group includes NBA All Star LeBron James.
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 blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza.