Blaze Pizza, the fastest-growing restaurant chain in history thanks in no small part to its connection to NBA superstar LeBron James, is opening a franchise in an Amherst retail plaza.

Customers watch as their pizza is being prepared as customers watch at Blaze Pizza in Pasadena

James has been an active investor, franchisee and social-media promoter of Blaze Pizza almost since the fast-casual chain opened its first two locations five years ago in Southern California, Forbes reported last week.

Blaze Pizza opened its 200th location last week, and the chain plans to set up shop later this year in a new, 14,675-square-foot building now under construction in The Boulevard, formerly Boulevard Consumer Square, off Niagara Falls Boulevard.

Blaze Pizza features an assembly-line system that lets customers design their own 11-inch pizzas, while also offering salads and desserts.

The Blaze Pizza restaurant will take up 3,000 square feet at the west end of the building going up next to the Panera Bread site in the Benderson Development Co. plaza, said Eric Recoon, Benderson’s vice president of development & leasing.

CoreLife Eatery, a Syracuse-based chain that also is opening a location in Clarence, will take 4,000 square feet at the building’s east end.

Benderson is in talks with other tenants for the rest of the available space, Recoon said.


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