Build-your-own artisanal pizza chain set to open in fall
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., July 2014 – Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the largest and fastest growing build-your-own artisanal pizza chain, announced that it will open its newest location at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Scheduled to open this fall, the new 2,600-square-foot restaurant, which features a heated outdoor patio, will be located on the second level near Island Cinema.
Blaze Pizza uses an interactive ordering format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create one of their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal 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” in less than 180 seconds.
“Blaze Pizza will be a great fit for Fashion Island’s diverse collection of dining options,” said Stacie Ellis, senior director of marketing for Irvine Company Retail Properties. “Build-your-own pizza restaurants are hugely popular right now and we know shoppers will enjoy being able to customize their own pizzas.”
Blaze Pizza makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Brad Kent (“The Pizza Whisperer”). The dough requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. The restaurant’s menu of pizzas and salads uses fresh ingredients ranging from inventive to classic and accommodates a range of dietary needs, with a gluten-free dough and vegan cheese option.
Customers can choose to let their imagination run wild or select one of Blaze’s 9 signature pies, including the “Green Stripe” – pesto drizzled over grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, chopped garlic, mozzarella, arugula – or the “Art Lover,” – artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, chopped garlic, red sauce dollops. The restaurant will also offer online ordering, house-made S’more Pies and a selection of wine and craft beer.
To create its “comfortably hip” interior and exterior, Blaze Pizza used urban architectural notes inspired by fire, crafting a casual and current dining environment uniquely suited to the restaurant’s space. Additionally, the restaurant has gone to great lengths to see that its packaging is eco-friendly — made in the USA from post-consumer recycled and/or sustainable materials.
“We were inspired to create a fast-casual pizza concept that offers exceptional quality at crazy fast speed,” said Jim Mizes, President & COO of Blaze Pizza. “If you think about it, there really hasn’t been a good way to enjoy a quality pizza without the wait. Now there is. We believe this will be a game-changer.”
The Newport Beach Blaze Pizza will be operated by R&J Restaurants LLC, a franchise group led by Rick Fortman and Joe Stein.
About Blaze Pizza
Founded in 2011 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. Blaze Pizza currently operates restaurants throughout California and the Midwest – including Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Louisville. In the back-half of this year, Blaze Pizza will open 35 new locations while expanding into the metropolitan areas of New York, Miami, Washington DC, New Orleans, Knoxville, Raleigh-Durham, Boise, Rapid City and Columbus. The company, which has been featured by Zagat, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Good Morning America, has a pipeline of over 280 restaurants being developed corporately and by 29 seasoned multi-unit franchisees. For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza.
About Fashion Island
As Orange County’s premier coastal shopping experience, Fashion Island features exclusive specialty boutiques, world-class department stores and a diverse assortment of restaurants and cafes. With more than 15 million visitors a year, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed resort-like atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California, with pristine views of the Pacific Ocean. Owned by Irvine Company, Fashion Island is home to Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store, Macy’s and Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, C. Wonder, Ella Moss, Trina Turk, Vince, Joie and Halston Heritage. Fashion Island also features acclaimed restaurants such as FIG & OLIVE, Red O by Rick Bayless, Lark Creek Newport Beach, Lemonade, True Food Kitchen, R+D Kitchen and soon to open, CUCINA enoteca. For more information, please visit ShopFashionIsland.com.