Portillo’s breaks ground in Maple Grove

Portillo’s CEO Keith Kinsey addresses the groundbreaking ceremony crowd at the future Maple Grove Portillo’s site on Aug. 1. (Photo by Alicia Miller)

The dirt has officially been thrown on the future Maple Grove Portillo’s site. The 9,000-square-foot restaurant building will be located at 12251 Elm Creek Blvd. N. in the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, just across the road from Great River Energy.

Portillo’s, the fast casual concept known for its menu of Chicago-style favorites, including Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, Italian Beef Sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads, and Portillo’s famous Chocolate Cake.

The restaurant will feature a Prohibition-themed interior, drawing décor inspiration from the 1920’s era. The restaurant will include seating for more than 200 guests, a seasonal outdoor patio, and double-lane drive-thru.

The Maple Grove restaurant will mark the second Minnesota location for Portillo’s, following a successful opening earlier this month in Woodbury.

At the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 1, Portillo’s CEO Keith Kinsey said it was a honor and privilege to be part of the Maple Grove community.

“It’s very important for us as an organization to makes sure that we give back to the community,” Kinsey said. “That’s what we stand for.”

Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson welcomed everyone to the future home of Portillo’s. “We are happy to have Portillo’s in Maple Grove. We are looking forward to the wonderful dining experience that you are going to bring to our residents.”

Steffenson added that through the approval process, the council learned about the resident’s love for Portillo’s.

Adam Wells, who started an online petition to bring Portillo’s to Maple Grove after the council first rejected its plans, receives the news he will get free Portillo’s food for a year. (Photo by Alicia Miller)

Adam Wells started a petition online, asking the council to allow Portillo’s to come to Maple Grove this past spring. He said there were more than 1,700 signatures on the petition within 10 days.

“My generation is full of activists and this was my issue I guess,” Wells said. “I only meant [the petition] in terms of love of getting a Portillo’s here.”

Kinsey presented Wells with a one-year of free food at Portillo’s.

Wells said, “I don’t want to say this is the happiest moment of the summer. I think my wife would be mad because we just got married recently, but it’s up there.”

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