Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza announced that it will soon be opening its first North Carolina location, in the Raleigh-Durham area. The fast-casual concept, known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, is scheduled to open in December 2014. The new restaurant will be located at Morrisville’s Park West Village (1024 Market Center Drive), in a 2,700-square-foot space that seats 70 guests.

Blaze Pizza is 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 ingredients, all for under $8. The 11-inch pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven—the centerpiece of the restaurant—where employees ensure that the thin-crust pies are 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 dough requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature crisp crust. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The Park West Village restaurant will 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 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,” says Jim Mizes, president and 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.”

Fast Casual, Growth, News, Pizza