I just got back from out of town but found some newspaper articles touting that Portillo's is planning on opening its first non-Cicago-area place next summer, somewhere in southern California. Big talk about maybe more Portillo's having more SoCal outlets than Chicago...doubtful, but if it catches on, you never know.
For those who are not aware, Portillo's is a Chicago-area chain of about 40 family style restaurants with Chicago style hot dogs, italian beef and sausage, burgers, salads and more. Some locations also feature ribs, pasta and more. The restaurants are very large and usually feature drive-through windows as well. According to industry estimates, each location grosses about $8M a year (a typical McD's does about 1.5M/yr for comparison).
I have linked an article from the Daily Herald...you can also read more by searching the Chicago Trib and Sun-Times websites.
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