Sterling Heights

Portillo's opens first Michigan location in Sterling Heights

Fast-casual restaurant chain Portillo's launched its first Michigan venue on Tuesday, officially opening the doors at its Sterling Heights location.

The brand has come a long way since Dick Portillo invested $1,100 in a small trailer in 1963 to open the first Portillo’s hot dog stand in Villa Park, Ill., which he called “The Dog House.” More than 50 years later, Portillo’s has grown to include restaurants in more than 60 locations across nine states.

The new location at 14425 Lakeside Circle will provide the restaurant's signature dishes, such as Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads, and signature chocolate cake.

“We always look forward to opening Portillo’s in new markets,” said CEO Michael Osanloo. “Fans in Michigan have been asking for a Portillo’s for years, so we’re very excited to bring our unrivaled Chicago street food and the signature Portillo’s experience to the community of Sterling Heights.”

The 7,900 square-foot restaurant features seating for more than 180 guests, a seasonal outdoor patio with seating for more than 50 guests, and double drive-thru lanes. It is the first Portillo’s to feature a garage-style theme with décor elements such as a fully restored 1931 Ford Wrecker, drawing inspiration from the area’s automotive history.

“I used to have family in the Chicago-land area, and Portillo's was always one of my favorite spots to visit,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor.

“I’m beyond excited to now have one in my backyard, and the fact that Sterling Heights was selected as Michigan’s first Portillo location is testament to the economic vibrancy of the M-59 Golden Corridor and our community as a whole. This new addition to the city’s great lineup of restaurants is sure to be a hit with our residents.”

Read more articles by Kate Roff.

Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at
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