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LeBron James-Backed Pizzeria Blazes Into Staten Island

There’s free pizza on Friday to celebrate

LeBron James at Blaze Pizza
LeBron James at Blaze Pizza
Blaze Pizza/YouTube

Celebrity-backed pizzeria Blaze Pizzanamed the fastest-growing restaurant chain of 2016 by the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report — is expanding into Staten Island with its first New York City location. As if NYC needs more pizza chains, this one comes with A-list celeb backing, with investors such as LeBron James, Maria Shriver, and Patrick Schwarzenegger leading to this opening, the 193rd since 2012.

Blaze Pizza is a fast-casual concept based on 11-inch, thin-crust custom pizzas that cook in 180 seconds. This location, at 2590 Hylan Boulevard, will have beer and wine, as well as health plays like salads, gluten-free crust, and vegan cheese.

Architect Ana Henton is behind the design, which runs eco-friendly with recycled and sustainable materials, LED lighting, and compostable packaging. The chain plans to give back to the community by hosting events for local schools, sports clubs, and other groups with 20 percent of proceeds benefitting those organizations.

Staten Island is apparently the new frontier for NYC food, with recent announcements of its very own Shake Shack, Alamo Drafthouse, and Hometown Bar-B-Que spin-off on the way.

To mark this opening, Blaze will be giving away one free 11-inch pizza with toppings on Friday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to anyone who follows the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. If you’re like LeBron, you’ll opt for spicy sauce:

Blaze Pizza opens Thursday, May 11 and will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.