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updated: 5/1/2014 9:08 AM

Portillo's looking into selling hot dog restaurants

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  • Customers line up outside the new Portillo's Hot Dogs as the company opens its Elgin location on Jan. 15, 2013.

      Customers line up outside the new Portillo's Hot Dogs as the company opens its Elgin location on Jan. 15, 2013.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report

Portillo Restaurant Group announced Wednesday it is considering the sale of its Portillo's division.

The privately owned Oak Brook-based restaurant group runs 38 locations in Illinois, Indiana, California and Arizona.

"We've enjoyed significant growth over the past 50 years, experiencing same-store sales increases over the last 10 years in the Chicagoland area, even when the economy as a whole suffered," said Richard J. Portillo, president and CEO of the Portillo Restaurant Group, in a statement.

Portillo's Hot Dogs is known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef and decadent chocolate cake.

"The popularity of the brand continues to grow, and that momentum, together with outstanding management and employees, brings tremendous potential for further growth and opportunity," Portillo said.

The company hired Piper Jaffray & Co. to investigate the financial options regarding a sale.

From a small trailer in Villa Park in 1963, Portillo's has grown to average more than $8 million in sales per store annually. Two new locations opened in Arizona just last year.

"It's an exciting time in the company's history," Portillo said. "This is a thriving business poised to launch to the next level, presenting an incredible opportunity for employees and investors."

Other brands by the Portillo Restaurant Group include Barnelli's Pasta Bowl, Honey-Jam Cafe and Luigi's House. They were not mentioned in the sale.

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