Portillo’s is Opening its First Michigan Restaurant in March

Grab a Chicago-style hot dog, Italian beef, and a slice of chocolate cake at this fast-casual joint
Portillo's - hot dogs
Chicago-style hot dogs photograph courtesy of Portillo’s

Chicagoland fast-casual food chain Portillo’s — which is known for its hot dogs, Italian beef, and decadent chocolate cake and shakes — is making its Michigan debut this spring. On March 15, the company plans to open its first Mitten State restaurant in Sterling Heights.

“We always look forward to opening Portillo’s in new markets,” says CEO Michael Osanloo in a press release. “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.”

Portillo's - sterling heights
Rendering of the Sterling Heights restaurant courtesy of Portillo’s

Located at 14425 Lakeside Circle, the restaurant will serve Portillo’s signature menu items, including Chicago-style hot dogs, which are topped with mustard, relish, celery salt, freshly chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, a kosher pickle, and peppers. Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, French fries, pasta, salads, shakes, and double-layer chocolate cake — baked fresh every morning at the restaurant with 2 pounds of chocolate frosting — are also on the menu.

The nearly 8,000-square-foot restaurant will have double drive-thru lanes, and seat more than 180 guests inside and 50 more guests on an outdoor patio. As an ode to Detroit’s auto history, the Sterling Heights location will feature a garage theme with décor like a fully restored 1931 Ford Wrecker on display in the restaurant.

Portillo's - chocolate cake
Chocolate cake photograph courtesy of Portillo’s

Portillo’s is giving locals a taste of what’s to come ahead of the spring launch. The Beef Bus, a mobile eatery that serves a number of the restaurant’s menu items, will begin operating in Sterling Heights on Feb. 17. Locals can track its location and hours of operation on Twitter and Instagram.

Portillo’s, which is currently hiring hourly and shift leader positions for the new Michigan eatery, is also offering customers the chance to experience the restaurant prior to its opening during a training meal (you can sign up here). And locals are welcome to sign up for the the company’s Birthday Club to receive a limited-edition t-shirt on opening day.

For more information, visit portillos.com.  

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Emma Klug is a senior editor and digital content coordinator at Hour Detroit. In her role, Klug writes and edits stories on community, art, food, and lifestyle topics for hourdetroit.com, edits the Hour Daily newsletter, and is involved in planning and proofing the monthly print magazine. She also oversees the editorial web internship program for the magazine. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Klug has been with Hour Detroit since 2016. She has also contributed to Hour Media publications DBusiness magazine and Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. You can reach her at eklug@hour-media.com.