Home » Michigan’s first Portillo’s restaurant is now open, serving its famous Chicago Italian beef sandwiches

Michigan’s first Portillo’s restaurant is now open, serving its famous Chicago Italian beef sandwiches

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI – A taste of Chicago is now open in Michigan with the state’s first Portillo’s restaurant, which opened at 10:30 a.m. today at 14425 Lakeside Circle at Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights.

The 7,900-square-foot restaurant’s interior décor is all about showcasing Michigan’s auto and music roots with various vintage signs and historic trinkets. There’s even a 1931 Model T hanging above where patrons dine.

Portillo’s is known for its Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs, char-grilled burgers, cheese fries, salads, Italian sausages and chocolate cake. Like at most Portillos restaurants, the drive-thru and walk-up lines will be long, but the Chicago-based chain is known for getting people through the lines fast.

RELATED: Portillo’s has plans to open restaurants throughout Michigan

“We’re professionals at managing our lots and getting people on and off,” said Jeff Deppe, Portillo’s director of New Restaurant Operations. “We have a good drive-thru Q here. Our lot itself is going to be very drive-thru friendly. We have a nice, long runway coming up through the drive, a nice double lane on the backside and then you’ll be able to exit out right to the access road and get out through the mall. It should work pretty seamlessly.”

RELATED: Chicago couple brings authentic Italian beef sandwiches to Metro Detroit food stand

With COVID restrictions for restaurants in Michigan now at 50{431c92db2ef93c421a350be785d244bd702e2c73a34f2b6f60cd8fd62b61507d}, Portillo’s does have the dining room open. The plan was to only do drive-thru when restrictions were at 25{431c92db2ef93c421a350be785d244bd702e2c73a34f2b6f60cd8fd62b61507d}.

“Typically, given how busy we are, once we’ve established the inside line, we’ve almost reached 25{431c92db2ef93c421a350be785d244bd702e2c73a34f2b6f60cd8fd62b61507d} capacity and you’ve got to manage the tables and keep them apart. Once we hit 50{431c92db2ef93c421a350be785d244bd702e2c73a34f2b6f60cd8fd62b61507d}, we can allow people to sit down, keep them social distanced and maintain the line. Safety has to be a priority at this point,” added Deppe.

The Portillo’s in Sterling Heights is now open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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