Build-Your-Own Artisanal Pizza Chain Set To Open New Restaurant In Niles
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the nation’s leading build-your-own pizza chain, today announced that it will soon be opening its sixth Chicagoland area location, in Niles. The fast-casual concept, known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, is scheduled to open in late April, at Pointe Plaza (5712 West Touhy Avenue), near Starbucks.
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 Niles restaurant will also feature a selection of wine and craft beer.
“We’re changing the way people think about and eat pizza,” said Adam Cummis, Blaze Pizza Franchise Partner. “Blaze provides all the options pizza lovers want, but without the wait, making delicious pizza that’s convenient too.”
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.
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. Blaze added an Evanston restaurant, located near the Northwestern University campus, in March 2015.
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 and chairman 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 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 15 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.