Portillo's is Heading to L.A.
By Rachelle Bowden in Food on Jul 22, 2004 5:55PM
Dick Portillo announced this week that he plans on opening a restaurant in Los Angeles, the first Portillo's located outside of the Chicago area. The west coast store will have Portillo's 1920s themed decor and drive through and the menu will feature a true Chicago dog (take that, Wienerschnitzel!). Portillo, who started his business in 1963 by selling hot dogs from a 12' x 6' trailer in Villa Park, says he believes that SoCal can sustain at least as many stores there as are in IL.
Portillo has decided not to franchise his new location to make sure that it maintains the same standards as the Chicagoland stores. For example, he is making all of his West Coast employees attend a week of Hot dog U, just like Chicago-area employees do. He also believes that Californians only wanting to eat lighter food like tofu and alfalfa sprouts is a myth (we can attest to that!) and is trusting his instincts that Portillo's in LA will be a success. Others aren't so optimistic saying that Californian's eating habits are a lot different than Chicagoan's and that when they do go for unhealthy, quick casual food, they go for Mexican (we can also attest to that!).
Whether Portillo's LA will be a success is yet to be seen, but Chicagoist is glad to have the West Coast eating our dogs. We can only assume that they'll also get Portillo's award winning Italian Beef, along with their awesome fries.