Fast-casual chain Portillo’s will host a grand opening event for its new restaurant in Glendale on April 27, 2021. The restaurant itself is located in front of Arrowhead Towne Center and marks the fourth freestanding location in the Phoenix area, joining locations in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Avondale. The Glendale restaurant officially opens to the public at 10:30am on Tuesday.

The Glendale establishment will be the 68th addition of the growing chain, which is now operating in nine different states. The first two Arizona locations were opened in Tempe and Scottsdale in 2013, with the third opening in Avondale in 2019.

Becoming part of the community

Portillo’s is a family business that often channels its roots with its consistent 1950’s-style aesthetic in every restaurant; however, it is important that each establishment becomes a part of the community where it resides. For example, did you know that each Portillo’s is designed based on cultural themes that are directly tied to the community?

Despite the consistent diner theme, each restaurant features cultural elements that represent that particular community. In Glendale, you’ll notice a variety of blues and jazz memorabilia that highlight the city’s longstanding history of hosting various music festivals.

Portillo's 1950's-style restaurant
An inside look at the new Portillo’s restaurants in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Paul Schaum.

The Beef Bus comes to town

Part of the grand opening festivities included an appearance by the nationally-renowned Beef Bus – a mobile food truck that features Portillo’s flagship menu items and travels around the country for new restaurant openings and other various events. The Beef Bus is operated by Erica Rossman, who is an employee that represents everything that Portillo’s stands for.

“When [our employees] become the leaders, they also become the innovators,” Vice President Michael R. Portillo said. “I love seeing people accomplish things that they didn’t even know they could accomplish.”

Rossman embodies that sentiment, as she was an integral part of the creation of the Beef Bus. Her passion for the project was evident, as she told stories of her many bus adventures across the country. Her infectious energy made it clear why the Beef Bus has been such a success and why people go nuts when they see it rolling into town.

Prior to its stop in Glendale, the Beef Bus had consecutive stops in Springfield, Illinois, Orlando, Florida and Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Portillo's Beef Bus
The famous Portillo’s Beef Bus. Photo submitted by Portillo’s.

Portillo’s preaches family and sticks to it

One of the core values that Portillo’s was founded on is the importance of family, and all these years later, they continue to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. Whether it’s creating memories for the families that dine at the restaurant or providing a pathway to career achievement for its employees, Portillo’s has made it a focal point to take care of people.

“It feels good to feel good,” said Portillo. “[Portillo’s] is dedicated to creating lifelong memories by igniting the senses through incredible food and experiences.”

He went on to talk about the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on business and was very proud to acknowledge that Portillo’s did not need to close any restaurants – in fact, they continued to open new locations as scheduled in 2020. Furthermore, they were able to raise $330,000 for their Heart of Portillo’s Fund, which was established to help the families of Portillo’s employees. During the pandemic, they were able to help over 30 families. In addition, they were able to continue paying health insurance costs for furloughed employees and hand out gift cards to help employees in need.

While it might be easy to view chain restaurants as outsiders, Portillo’s continues to prove that it doesn’t matter where you’re from. What matters is what you do and how you conduct yourself. Next week, the Chicago-born restaurant chain is ready to welcome another city to the family.

Portillo's family.
Michael R. Portillo (left), Courtney Boyd (middle) and Erica Rossman (right) help open the new Glendale location. Photo by Paul Schaum.

The grand opening for Portillo’s in Glendale will be on Tuesday, April 27. Doors will open at 10:30am.