Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza opens its first Charleston-area location Thursday in Indigo Square Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant. Warren L. Wise/Staff

Another new pizza restaurant will begin serving the Charleston area this week, and it's backed by Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James.

Blaze Pizza, so named for its open-fired offerings, will open Thursday in Indigo Square Shopping Center next to Publix supermarket's recently opened GreenWise Market.

The 2,800-square-foot, open-kitchen restaurant at 1701 Shoremeade Road off U.S. Highway 17 seats 80 on the inside, offers a shared exterior patio, uses eco-friendly packaging and was built with recycled and sustainable materials.

Customers can customize a personal pizza from the menu or create one of their own for about $8. Pizzas feature made-from-scratch dough every day and all-natural meats and vegetables. They are finished in an open-flame oven, which cooks pizzas in three minutes.

As part of the opening celebration, customers who visit the new location 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and download the Blaze Pizza app will receive a free build-your-own pizza.

"Our record for free pizzas given out is 2,700, and we’d love for our new Charleston-area restaurant to beat that," company spokesman Joshua Levitt said.

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The restaurant will employ 50 people and be involved in the community through fundraisers.

“Our mission at Blaze is really simple — we’re taking pizza back to its roots,” said Jim Mizes, president & CEO of Blaze Pizza. “By making dough in-house, using carefully sourced ingredients and cooking by fire, we’re giving guests a great way to enjoy artisanal pizza without the wait.”

Blaze Pizza has two other locations in South Carolina. Both are in Columbia.

Basketball great James is an investor and franchisee of Blaze Pizza, showing early interest in the company in 2012 shortly after its founding.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.