TEMPE, Ariz. — The classic hot dog joint Portillo’s took up some new territory in the Valley Tuesday, as the restaurant opened its newest location at Tempe Marketplace.
Dozens lined up outside before the doors opened at 10 a.m.
“We have a cult-like following with some of them, and some people were here all-night,” said owner Dick Portillo.
Super fan Peter Robinson was wearing an “I love Portillo’s shirt” when he flew in from Chicago overnight. It’s a tradition for Robinson, who’s eaten at every one of the 38 Portillo’s locations in the country.
“Last night, I ate at Scottsdale and I had a cheeseburger and fries. Today, I’ll have a hot dog, and tonight on my way home I’ll stop at the Summit store (in Chicago) and have Italian beef,” said Robinson.
It wasn’t the first time Robinson made an overnight flight for a hot dog. The Chicago native was in Scottsdale in February, when Portillo’s opened its first location in the Valley.
“I think in the long run, I believe that this one will do better 12 months out of the year than Scottsdale,” said Portillo.
So far, the Scottsdale location is in the top-third for sales, according to Portillo.