Blaze Pizza uses a hot, open-flame oven to cook 11-inch thin crust pizzas.

Blaze Pizza uses a hot, open-flame oven to cook 11-inch thin crust pizzas.

Allison Slomowitz/Special Contributor

A pizza place that can count LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger's son Patrick as fans is firing up in the Lone Star State.

Texas' first Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza opens Thursday, May 21 in Frisco and will be giving away free pizzas Friday, May 22 to anyone who follows the brand on social media.

Here's how it works:

The franchise, started by Elise and Rick Wetzel of Wetzel's Pretzels, is one of several new pizza places that uses a Chipotle-style concept: Diners build their own lunch or dinner by pointing to ingredients as they move down the line. Blaze pizzas are cooked for about 180 seconds in a very hot oven, mirroring the Neapolitan pies made popular in Naples, Italy.

All build-your-own pizzas are 11 inches wide and cost $7.95. Blaze also sells eight "signature pizzas" with already-chosen ingredients for the same price. But the franchise owners guess that the choose-your-own model will be the way most customers go.

"The brand is focused on millennials," explains Greg Hazard, one of six partners in the franchise group.

Gluten-free crust and vegan cheese are available for any pizza.

Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza

The Frisco shopping center they chose for Blaze is surrounded by fast-casual places such as Salata, Chipotle and the brand-new VooDoo BBQ & Grill -- all indicators that consumers are looking for a quick meal they can customize, Hazard says.

The shop is working on getting its TABC license and will eventually serve two wines on tap, plus draft beers from (512) Brewing Company out of Austin and Community Beer Company in Dallas.

Hazard's franchise group, called Saddles Blazin LLC, plans to open a Blaze in Austin next, followed by pie shops in Fort Worth, College Station and Lafayette, Louisiana. In North Texas, they're also considering future locations in Plano, Flower Mound and Little Elm.

3311 Preston Road, Suite 13, Frisco. www.blazepizza.com.

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