INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – South side residents can now enjoy Chicago-style hot dogs—while Chicago natives can get a taste of home.
The newest central Indiana Portillo’s opened just north of the Greenwood Park Mall on U.S. 31 Monday. Portillo’s began 56 years ago in Chicago and is a favorite for many from the area. The restaurant chain has more than 50 locations in several states, with three in Indiana (Merrillville, Fishers and Indy south side).
The 9,000-square-foot south side location has all the favorite menu items fans expect, from Chicago-style dogs and Italian beef to the chain’s famous double-layer chocolate cake. And while the food is king, eating at Portillo’s is also about the experience.
“The atmosphere and the music, the pictures, the nostalgia, the elements – the Indy 500 and the car we have up there, the 1960s truck. It’s just really great to see people come in and just get a part of Portillo’s when they come in the door,” said CEO Keith Kinsey.
Over the weekend, the restaurant invited customers for “sneak peek” meals to raise $5,000 for the Greenwood Education Foundation and EmployIndy’s Jessica Brown Memorial JAG Scholarship.
“It’s definitely the Hoosier welcome we’ve gotten here. It’s so nice because everybody is so friendly about it and wants to help,” Kinsey said. “We were able to get enough employees – we employ about 175 people and we have seven management people. And it’s people from around the community that come and work with us – and you can feel that same energy and spirit with our team.”
Portillo’s isn’t through with central Indiana just yet. Another location is planned in Avon near Ronald Reagan Parkway and U.S. 36. The Fishers location opened in September 2017 to great fanfare.