Chicago street food restaurant Portillo’s cut the ribbon Tuesday morning on its seventh location in Arizona and donated more than $26,000 to the community, according to company officials.
“We set a record as Portillo’s,” said Michael Portillo, the founder's son and the restaurant support vice president, at the grand opening regarding the money the company raised.
Portillo’s raised money for its charity partners, Queen Creek 4-H and the Queen Creek Schools Education Foundation. The restaurant raised the funds over two days through sneak peek training meals, according to a press release by Portillo’s.
The company raised $15,993 for Queen Creek 4-H and $10,032 for the Queen Creek Schools Education Foundation.
Queen Creek 4-H is part of a large national program that empowers youth to reach their full potential through different projects around the community, according to its website.
A representative from Queen Creek 4-H said it would use the funds to help the organization better connect with churches in the area and provide for its Arizona care center.
Queen Creek School Education Foundation works to raise money for student scholarships and teacher grants, according to the Queen Creek School District’s superintendent, Perry Berry.
“We have given out grants for mirrors for our dance teachers or iPads for our special needs teachers,” said Ellie Hardt, the director of community education at Queen Creek Unified School District. “Whatever they are in need of, we are willing to sponsor that.”
The foundation also gives out $2,500 scholarships to students that range from STEM to fine arts to athletics, according to Hardt.
This was Portillo’s 77th store open nationwide and the seventh location opened in Arizona, according to Portillo.
This is the first Portillo’s in Queen Creek and is located at 20745 E. Walnut Road on the corner of Ellsworth Road and East Walnut near Queens Creek Junior High.
“All our food is made fresh, hot, and the way you want it,” Portillo said during the ceremony.
The restaurant started serving food after the ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. It offers various Chicago street foods, including Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, chopped salads, cheese fries, homemade chocolate cake and chocolate cake shakes.
Portillo said this specific store was designed with a more efficient kitchen in mind. The company always strive to innovate, he said, adding it was the first restaurant to put workers outside working the drive-through in the 1980s.
The inside of the 7,800-square-foot restaurant can seat 180 guests and offers a seasonal outdoor patio for an additional 50 guests, according to the press release.
The release stated that the inside is designed with art and styled in a Southwest Garage theme.
“Not every two Portillo’s are the same,” Portillo said.
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