PEORIA — Portillo's made official on Monday morning what has been reported for months: The Chicagoland fast-casual restaurant is coming to Peoria.
The company made the announcement in a full-page advertisement in the Journal Star as well as a news release confirming the site of the location at 4412 N. Rockwood Drive.
The chain, known for its Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, will operate a 9,000-square-foot restaurant. Plans already submitted to the city contemplate seating for 204 patrons indoors, with seating for an additional 50 in a seasonal, outdoor area. Vehicle entrances and exits are proposed on Rockwood Drive at the edge of the Westlake shopping center.
The restaurant, which the company said will boast a double drive-through lane, will be situated toward the back of the wedge-shaped parcel, with the rear of the restaurant and the drive-through pick up area facing the property that houses Kouri's Pub.
The interior of the restaurant will be designed on a 1950s theme.
Earlier this year, Portillo's outlets opened in Normal and Champaign. The Peoria location is expected in 2018.
"A location in Peoria has been an integral part of our plan for growth in Central Illinois," Portillo’s CEO Keith Kinsey said in prepared statement. "We are excited to join the city’s vibrant commercial and residential community."
However, the company signaled that the restaurant itself is contingent upon the Peoria City Council approving a special service area, adding an additional 1 percent to the sales tax rate at the restaurant in order to help developer Willie Torchia recoup costs on the property. Torchia had said the same thing earlier this month.
That tax has seen some opposition among council members and the public.