New Build-Your-Own Pizza Concept Breaks Ground at River City Marketplace
The weather may be warming up as we head in to summer, but there’s nothing hotter than Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza! In June, Jacksonville’s pizza-lovers will get to experience a totally new take on one of America’s favorite foods as Blaze Pizza debuts in Jacksonville at River City Marketplace.
Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The Kentucky-based Millennial Restaurant Group, which is franchising the concept in 4 states, announced today they will open their first Jacksonville location at River City Marketplace. The restaurant will be located at 840 Nautica Drive, off of I-95 and Duval near Panera Bread, Starbucks and Wal-Mart.
The fast-casual concept, with its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, is custom-building its newest location specifically to suit the 2700-square-foot space. The atmosphere will boast an industrial feel with bold orange and red accents, an ode to the centerpiece of the restaurant – the open-flame oven. The restaurant will offer seating for 75 inside with additional seats on an outdoor patio.
Unlike traditional pizza chains, Blaze features an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to create their own artisanal pizzas, choosing any toppings they like from a wide selection of house made sauces, fresh vegetables and hand-selected meats and cheeses – all for under $8. The generously-sized 11-inch pizzas are then sent to the blazing hot oven where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are “fast-fire’d” and ready to eat in just 180 seconds.
Blaze Pizza makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Brad Kent (“The Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. The restaurant’s menu also accommodates a range of dietary needs, with gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The restaurant will also offer a selection of wine and craft beer.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Blaze Pizza to the Jacksonville community,” said Laurie Ruggles, Blaze Operating Partner in North Central Florida, “When it comes to pizza, Jacksonville expects the very best and that’s exactly what we serve. Now guests can get an artisanal pizza, made exactly to their specifications, without the wait.”
The Millennial Restaurant Group is developing restaurants in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. The partnership consists of James Patterson Sr., Jim Patterson II, Ulysses (Junior) Bridgeman, Wayne Albritton and Collins Cogan.
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 16 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 and Maria Shriver. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza.