A much-anticipated restaurant is close to opening in the Quad Cities.
Portillo's is putting the finishing touches on its Davenport location, which the company expects to complete in June. The 9,000 square-foot restaurant will be located just west of the corner of 53rd Street and Elmore Avenue.
The chain is known for its Chicago-style food, including Italian beef, Polish sausage, and Chicago dogs.
Portillo's Director of New Restaurant Operations Jeff Deppe says a devoted online fanbase in the Quad Cities area was instrumental in bringing Portillo's to Davenport.
"There's been a lot of hype around getting us out here," said Deppe. "That is one of the main reasons why we look at places like this, because that brand recognition is what we're looking for. So, we're really bracing ourselves for a busy restaurant here. This is going to be great."
Deppe was referring to a Facebook group called Bring Portillo's to the Quad Cities. It generated more than 10,000 likes within a few days of its creation in 2016.
Portillo's has already hired 50 people for the Davenport location, and plans to hire an additional 150 to 200 in the coming weeks.
This will be the company's 60th restaurant, and its first in Iowa. Currently, the closest Portillo's restaurants to the Quad Cities are in Peoria and Rockford.