The couple behind Wetzel’s Pretzels is branching out to the world of gourmet pizza.
Now open on the UC Irvine campus, Blaze Pizza will provide a quick and casual dining experience with personal-sized and customized “fast-fire’d” gourmet pizzas made to order. The menu, designed by executive chef and owner of Zagat-rated Olio Pizzeria & Cafe Bradford Kent, combines America’s love of pizza and fast food.
“Today, most take-out, delivery and dine-in pizza places fall short for discerning pizza fans looking for a quick bite,” said Rick Wetzel. “We’re able to deliver an unbelievably good pizza, lightning fast, at a very affordable price.”
The restaurant is the latest creation of Elise and Rick Wetzel, and is backed by several big-name investors, including actress Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis, and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. A second Blaze Pizza will open in Pasadena later this summer and the company plans to begin franchising.
The set up of the restaurant resembles that of Chipotle or Subway, with an assembly line order style where diners can create their own fresh pizzas for less than $10. After diners choose their toppings, the pizzas are moved to an open-hearth oven where they are quick-cooked for two minutes and served at the cash register.
The restaurant was designed to be casual and hip, and will feature eco-friendly packaging made from recycled or sustainable materials.
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