LOS ANGELES, CA - (Marketwired - Mar 2, 2015) - Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza, the nation's leading build-your-own pizza chain, announced today that it will open its 5th Chicago area restaurant, near Northwestern University, on Thursday, March 5th. To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant will offer FREE build-your-own artisanal pizzas on Friday, March 6th from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. to anyone who follows Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. The fast-casual concept, known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, will be located near Northwestern University's campus in Evanston at 1737 Sherman 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.
"Blaze Pizza delivers a customized pizza experience with the artisanal quality that Chicagoans have come to expect, but now without the wait," said Larry Levy, founder of Levy Family Partners, the group developing Blaze Pizza in Chicago, and Northwestern alum. "We believe this will be a game changer in town."
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 Evanston restaurant will also feature a selection of wine and craft beer.
"Evanston holds a special place in my heart and I couldn't be more excited for Blaze to be a part of this community," said Blaze Pizza co-founder and Northwestern alum Elise Wetzel. "The restaurant design incorporates touches of purple and white, proudly displaying our school pride."
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 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.
SOURCE Blaze Pizza