A third Chicago area location of Ditka's Restaurant will open in Arlington Heights this summer on the grounds of Arlington International Racecourse, officials said Wednesday.
Ditka's, owned by and named for former Chicago Bears player and coach Mike Ditka, will open in the Arlington Trackside Off-Track Betting facility at the northwest corner of Euclid Avenue and Wilke Road by July 1, said Howard Sudberry, senior director of marketing and communications for the track.
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"I'm very happy to be involved with Arlington. They do things in a first-class manner," Ditka said in a news release. "I can't think of a better location than Trackside at Arlington. It is exciting to be opening a third Ditka's in Chicagoland."
The opening will be kind of a homecoming for Dikta, who operated a restaurant at Trackside in the late 1980s after the fire at Arlington Park.
The new Arlington Heights location will operate as a full restaurant in the dining room area on the first floor of the off-track betting facility. It will include space for private dining and banquet options, Sudberry said.
Betting will not be allowed in the restaurant, but there will still be space for off-track betting in another section of the first floor and the entire second floor of the facility, officials said.
"We are excited to able to team with Coach Ditka to bring this kind of quality restaurant to our customers and to the people of the Northwest suburbs," Arlington Racetrack General Manager Tony Petrillo said in a release. "His restaurants are known to have the same high standards as Arlington."
Off-track wagering will continue during construction, Sudberry said.
"It'll be a tremendous thing for Arlington Heights and the Northwest suburbs and for customers of Arlington," he said. "I've known 'Coach' for many years and he doesn't do anything halfway. 'Coach' knows he can't just put his name on the door and leave it at that so he demands the same excellence from his restaurant team that he always did from his players."
Ditka's also has locations in Chicago, Oak Brook, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.