LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 11, 2014) - Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza today announced that it will open its first New York location in West Babylon on Thursday, July 17. To celebrate the grand opening, the new West Babylon Blaze Pizza will offer FREE build-your-own artisanal pizzas to anyone who follows Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook on Friday, July 18, from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The 60 seat fast-casual restaurant is located at the Great South Bay Shopping Center (1047 W. Montauk Highway) near Bed Bath & Beyond, LA Fitness, Panera Bread, Old Navy and Red Robin.

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 makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Brad Kent ("The Pizza Whisperer"), which 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. The restaurant will also offer a selection of wine and craft beer.

"New Yorkers love pizza, but they really don't have a good way to enjoy a quality pie without the wait," said Chef Kent. "Blaze Pizza is all about letting folks enjoy custom-built artisanal pizzas at crazy fast speed. It's a concept I'm thrilled to lend my expertise to."

Blaze Pizza is looking forward to building strong roots within the West Babylon community. To that end, the company has developed a turn-key in-restaurant fundraiser program that returns 20% of an event's proceeds back to local organizations, and will be partnering with local schools, sports clubs and other organizations to host fundraising events at the new restaurant.

The West Babylon Blaze Pizza will be operated by Lessing's Inc., a franchise group led by Mark and Michael Lessing. Owned and operated continuously by the Lessing family since the company's founding in 1890, Lessing's has long been one of the Northeast region's leading providers of food and beverage services to colleges, businesses, and the general public through a variety of dining and hospitality operations. Lessing's three divisions -- food service management, restaurants, and catering, employ more than 1,000 people. The company operates in over 120 locations, including eight full-service restaurants and a hotel, and provides catering services for countless weddings and other special events. Lessing's serves hundreds of thousands of guests each year and is renowned for its integrity and commitment to the local communities in which it operates. For more information, please visit www.lessings.com.

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.

Blaze Pizza - West Babylon 
1047 W. Montauk Highway 
 West Babylon, NY 11704 

Blaze Pizza, LLC
35 N. Lake Ave, Suite 710 
Pasadena, CA 91101