Blaze Pizza opens Thursday at 215 N. Cattlemen Road, University Park, beside Jos. A Bank, but on Friday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., the restaurant will give away free pizzas all day long.
At the company's last opening, it gave away 1,300 pizzas, according to a spokeswoman.
Don't think you're walking out with an extra large Pizza Hut pizza. Blaze Pizza makes pizza pies that are 11 inches and thanks to their oven, bakes in 180 seconds. Customers make their way through an assembly line, kind of like Chipotle. All pizzas are $8 and under.
Sounds similar? Blaze Pizza is a lot like Rise Pies that opened inside the Mall at University Town Center across the street in October.
The University Park store is its first in Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida. A Gainesville location opened earlier this month and the first in Florida opened last year in Fort Lauderdale. The company's first restaurant opened Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif.
The company was founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels).
Read more about Blaze Pizza in Thursday's Bradenton Herald.