“Build-Your-Own” Artisanal Pizza Restaurant Set to Open in Oakbrook Terrace in November
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the fast-casual concept known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, today announced that it will soon expand into Oakbrook Terrace, its eighth Chicagoland location. The highly anticipated restaurant, which will feature a 2,500 square foot interior with seating for approximately 60 guests inside and additional 20 seats on an outdoor patio, will open in November in Oakbrook Terrace Square (17 W 6339 Roosevelt Rd.), near Pete’s Fresh Market.
Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” that has been inspiring excitement and cultivating fanatics for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies since it opened its first location in 2012. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of carefully sourced, high-quality ingredients – all for under $8. The generously-sized personal 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 Oakbrook Terrace restaurant will also feature a selection of wine and craft beer.
To create the perfect vibe inside the new Chicagoland restaurant, award-winning design architect Ana Henton has added several unique, modern touches, including an oversized wall graphic custom-built to suit the space. Additionally, in support of the company’s commitment to “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet”, the Oakbrook Terrace restaurant will use both recycled and sustainable materials and energy-efficient LED lighting, and will feature eco-friendly, compostable packaging.
“At Blaze, we’re all about creating an engaging dining experience where guests can enjoy artisanal pizza that’s both fast and affordable,” said Adam Cummis, Blaze Pizza Franchise Partner. “The authenticity of our food, plus a service culture that genuinely focuses on the happiness of our guests and crew – have been key to our popularity and expansion.”
The newest Blaze restaurant is looking forward to building strong roots within the community, offering a spot where guests can connect, create and enjoy. To that end, the restaurant promotes a turnkey fundraiser program that returns 20% of an event’s proceeds back to the organization, helping schools, sports clubs and other local groups “cause a scene for a good cause”.
Blaze Pizza launched in Chicago in December 2013, and its first restaurant, at 953 W. Belmont Ave. (next to the Belmont L), has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. A second Chicago location, at 227 E. Ontario St., opened in April 2014 to serve the Streeterville and the Michigan Avenue crowd. In Q4 2014, Blaze fired up two additional restaurants in the Chicago area, Chicago’s Presidential Towers at 24 South Clinton Street and Skokie’s Westfield Old Orchard Mall, located at 4999 Old Orchard Center. In 2015, Blaze added three more locations, including Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston (1737 Sherman Ave.), Niles at Pointe Plaza (5712 West Touhy Ave.), and Oak Lawn in the thriving downtown 95th Street Corridor (6230-A West 95th St.).
Blaze Pizza is being developed in the Chicago area by Levy Family Partners under a 15-store franchise development agreement. Levy Family Partners was established by entrepreneur Larry Levy, founder of Levy Restaurants, as the holding company for his family’s investments in restaurants, hotels, real estate and other ventures.
The first Blaze Pizza restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design, and a service culture that celebrates individuality. Now ranked as the overall #2 fast-casual brand in FastCasual.com’s annual Top 100 list, Blaze Pizza is building momentum and developing a cult-like following as it expands across the country. The company currently operates 85 restaurants in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas 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 or click here to view a company video.