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Area's first Blaze Pizza opens in Stark on Monday; chain is partially owned by LeBron James

By Katie Byard Published: February 24, 2017

Here's the tasty lead item from this week's Akron Dish.

To read all the morsels in this past Wednesday's Akron Dish wrap up, go to

We have some fully baked news about Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the chain partially owned by LeBron James, coming to the Belden Village area.

The first Northeast Ohio location opens Monday at 5125 Dressler Road in Jackson Township.

We also have a clarification on some half-baked information about Blaze, which touts its super-fast pizza preparation and fresh ingredients: It is not coming to Strongsville, as I and other Northeast Ohio media reported. At least not anytime soon. More on this later.

The new Blaze in Jackson Township will open at 11 a.m. Monday, and host a Free Pizza Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. As giveaways go, this one is generous. Anyone who likes Blaze Pizza on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter will receive a free, build-your-own 11-inch pizza, with no restrictions on number of toppings. (Regular cost is just under $8.)

What’s up with not-coming-soon Strongsville Blaze location? Here’s what happened. The city of Strongsville posted on its Facebook page last week that a Blaze was expected to open at the Commons at SouthPark. I and other media types got a bout of LeBron James fever, echoing the city’s post. (I wrote about it on the Akron Dish blog at

Turns out that Strongsville jumped the pepperoni. On Tuesday, the city said it “looks like we have to rescind our post.”

Last fall, the city explained in a new post written Tuesday, Strongsville City Council members approved a “master sign program” for the Commons at SouthPark that included a sign for Blaze Pizza. “Apparently, a lease was never signed,” the city said.

A spokeswoman for the franchisee, Blaze Midwest Group, told me this week that “there’s no formal plan to open” in the city. But she stressed that the Blaze planned for Mentor is a go.

James was a founding investor in the Pasadena, Calif., Blaze chain, which began in 2011. In 2015, the NBA star made headlines when he decided not to renew his big endorsement deal with McDonald’s to promote Blaze. Yeah, I guess James makes headlines when he does anything.

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