Chicago’s Iconic Hot Dog Comes to Florida

Portillo’s, an iconic restaurant chain in the greater Chicago area, has announced that it’s opening in Tampa in early 2016.

Company spokesman Nick Scarpina told Tampa Bay Business Journal that all Portillo’s units are corporate-owned and built from the ground up. The company is “in the final stages” of signing a lease in Tampa, he said. No set location has been revealed yet.

The chain’s origins go back to 1963, when Dick Portillo started a hot dog stand called The Dog House in a trailer in Chicago’s Villa Park.

Portillo’s, which has several restaurants clustered in and around the Windy City as well as two each in Phoenix and Southern California, is celebrated for its Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef.

The Tampa outlet will be the brand’s first in Florida, first in the Southeast.