Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, the fast-casual concept known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, today announced that it will soon open new locations in Concord, California, and Normal, Illinois. The highly anticipated restaurants will feature a 2,400-square-foot interior with seating for 50 in Concord and a 2,800-square-foot interior with seating for 67 inside and an additional 24 seats on an exterior patio. The Concord location will open in May near Trader Joe's, Habit Burger, and Noodles & Company. The Normal location will open in April, just north of College Hills Mall on College Avenue.
Blaze Pizza is a modern day "pizza joint" that has been inspiring excitement and cultivating fanatics for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade, and s'more pies since it opened its first location in 2012. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu's signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of carefully sourced, high-quality ingredients—all for around $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. The new California and Illinois restaurants will also feature a selection of wine and local craft beer.
To create the perfect vibe inside the restaurant, award-winning design architect Ana Henton has added several unique, modern touches, including an oversized wall graphic custom-built to suit the space. Additionally, in support of the company's commitment to "Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet," the restaurant will use both recycled and sustainable materials and energy-efficient LED lighting, and will feature eco-friendly, compostable packaging.
"At Blaze, we're all about creating an engaging dining experience where guests can enjoy artisanal pizza that's both fast and affordable," says Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. "The authenticity of our food, plus a service culture that genuinely focuses on the happiness of our guests and crew, have been key to our popularity and expansion."
The newest Blaze restaurant is looking forward to building strong roots within the community, offering a spot where guests can connect, create, and enjoy. To that end, the restaurant promotes a turnkey fundraiser program that returns 20 percent of an event's proceeds back to the organization, helping schools, sports clubs, and other local groups "cause a scene for a good cause."