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updated: 8/11/2012 3:33 PM

Nathan's Hot Dogs opening in Arlington Hts. by end of year

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  • The Plaza del Grato shopping center where Nathan's famous Hot Dogs will locate.

       The Plaza del Grato shopping center where Nathan's famous Hot Dogs will locate.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

Suburban hot dog lovers will soon have another restaurant to enjoy when Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs opens in Arlington Heights later this year.

The New York-based franchise will make its first foray into Illinois with the location in the Plaza del Grato shopping center at 1766 W. Algonquin Road.

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A former beauty salon closed in that location nearly two years ago, and a Panera Bread also closed in that shopping center a few months ago.

"We're excited. You can't live in Chicago and not like hot dogs -- they'll be right at home," Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder said.

The restaurant will have about 2,500 square feet and room for about 50 seats, said Matt Dabrowski, village development planner.

An official for the corporate office of Nathan's Hot Dogs did not have an exact date for the Arlington Heights opening but said it would be open by the end of 2012. The business got village approval several months ago, Dabrowski said.

Nathan's will compete with long-standing Chicago favorite Portillo's at Golf and New Wilke roads.

Nathan's started in 1916 as a small hot dog stand in Coney Island. It has expanded to 250 franchise units around the country, and the hot dogs are sold in more than 40,000 locations worldwide, according to the company website.

Nathan's Famous is also well-known for hosting an annual hot dog-eating contest on the Fourth of July, which is broadcast on the ESPN network.

Owners of the Arlington Heights restaurant did not respond to calls for comment.

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