Blaze Pizza to open Thursday at Plaza on University
Pizza lovers, rejoice; there’s a new pizza joint in town ready to get you “fire’d” up.
On Wednesday, Blaze Pizza held its own media day to spread the word about its “fast fire’d” pizzas before its grand opening, set for Thursday.
Managers and workers showed off the newly renovated restaurant space, located near Bar Louie and Burger Fi at the Plaza on University near UCF. Inside, the décor is modern and industrial, an appeal to its mostly-millennial customer base.
This is Blaze Pizza’s first Orlando location, but not the first that caters to the college crowd. The chain also has restaurants in Gainesville, Sarasota and Jacksonville.
“We love to be as close to the students as possible,” said Dennis Sherer, the restaurant’s managing partner. “We’ve had tremendous success in Gainesville. So, we continue to look for sites that are close to where the kids are at.”
Originally from California, the pizza joint uses recipes from executive chef Brad Kent and farm-fresh ingredients to give customers a casual, but still high quality, pizza experience, according to a Blaze Pizza press release.
Sherer said the restaurant, which allows customers to build their own 11-inch pizzas using an assembly line and an unlimited amount of toppings, is perfect for college students looking for a unique pizza experience without breaking the bank.
“I think it’s a great value,” he said. “What we have found in Gainesville, from a value standpoint, is the students really like it. It’s priced really well for them.”
It’s not just the price that the Blaze staff is hoping will appeal to students. They also want students to enjoy their pizza experience.
“They create it and it’s made specially just for them,” said Scott Lefler, the restaurant’s general manager. “We treat everybody as a guest, not a customer.”
He said that students have access to eight signature pies, in addition to the build-your-own option. But no matter which pizza they choose, he said that every pizza is cooked within three minutes.
Students can enjoy these fast-casual pizzas starting Thursday at Blaze’s grand opening, or on Friday during the restaurant’s free pizza day, where students can get a free personal pizza any time from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Deanna Ferrante is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.