Illinois State University

Portillo's to open new restaurant in Champaign

Portillo's to open new restaurant in Champaign

The Fighting Illini just got a recruiting boost from an alum: Portillo's is coming to town.

"It's nice to go back to a place where you have some good memories," said Keith Kinsey, Portillo's CEO and class of 1976 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For Portillo's, the Oak Brook-based chain known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and cake shakes, Thursday's announcement of a Champaign location represents yet another outpost in a steady expansion since founder Dick Portillo sold the company to a private equity firm in 2014. The 9,850-square-foot restaurant at 2306 N. Prospect Ave. in Champaign would represent the chain's...