Metro-East News

Portillo’s opening downstate; announces new location on social media

Portillo’s shared an artist’s rendering of what its Champaign location will look like. The restaurant chain said its goal is to open its new location by spring.
Portillo’s shared an artist’s rendering of what its Champaign location will look like. The restaurant chain said its goal is to open its new location by spring.

Portillo’s, a renowned hot dog restaurant that began in the Chicago area, says it’s set to open a new location downstate in Champaign.

The restaurant told the Champaign News-Gazette that its goal is to open the new location in the spring of 2017.

Portillo’s announced in April that it was expanding to Normal, but that location is not expected to open until August or September, making the Champaign restaurant Portillo’s first expansion in downstate Illinois.

Portillo’s CEO Keith Kinsey said the company is looking to expand, adding that potential future locations could include Peoria, Moline and Indianapolis, the newspaper reported.

The restaurant chain was founded by Dick Portillo in 1963 and was acquired by Berkshire Partners in 2014. As of this year, Portillo’s has more than 40 locations in the Chicago area as well as some in Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Florida and Arizona.

The Chicago restaurant chain posted the announcement of its upcoming Champaign location on Facebook page early Thursday — with plenty of puns.

“Dance your buns off, Champaign. Portillo’s is coming to town! We know, we know: it’s been a long time coming. You’ve made us feel like a pretty big dill by peppering us with requests to open in Champaign for years,” the company wrote.

“If you’ve never been to Portillo’s, we’d relish the opportunity to introduce ourselves. We started as a small hot dog stand outside Chicago in 1963 and we’ve grown to serve the most delicious Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads, cheese fries, and of course, our world famous chocolate cake. We think you’ll agree that our food truly cuts the mustard.”

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