Three Additional Locations Expected To Open In Late 2014 And Early 2015
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the nation’s leading build-your-own pizza chain, today announced that it will soon be opening three new locations in the greater Chicago area. The fast-casual concept, known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants will expand its footprint to five locations in the metro by early 2015. Two locations are scheduled to open in late 2014, the Presidential Towers (24 South Clinton Street, Chicago) in October, and the Westfield Old Orchard Mall (4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie) in November. Coming in early 2015 is the Evanston location (1737 Sherman Avenue, Evanston), a stone’s throw from Northwestern University. Blaze Pizza’s current Chicago locations include 953 West Belmont Avenue, adjacent to the Belmont Red Line L Station, and 227 East Ontario Street, situated between Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue.
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. Most Chicago area restaurants 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.”
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 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.