If you’ve spent any time in Chicago you’ve probably heard of Portillo’s. What began as Dick Portillo’s “The Dog House” hot dog stand in 1963, has grown into a restaurant chain with more than 60 locations across several stages. The company has announced it will open a Lake Buena Vista store at the new The Village at O-Town West development on Palm Parkway.

The location will mark the brand’s first Orlando-area site. Portillo’s Lake Buena Vista location will join two other Sunshine State restaurants in Tampa and Brandon. It’s being developed as part of an 80,000 square foot retail center created by Unicorp National Development.

“Our company strives to partner with tenants that can help showcase the area as a world-class destination for visitors,” states Chuck Whittall, President of Unicorp National Developments. “Portillo’s will be a great addition to our stellar dining options here in Lake Buena Vista.”

Visitors to Portillo’s can expect to enjoy classic menu items like Chicago-style hot dogs, famous Italian beef, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads and their iconic chocolate cake. The restaurant will include an outdoor patio, draft beer, double drive-thru and large parking lot to accommodate guests. The design of Portillo’s 7,800 square foot Lake Buena Vista location will evoke the brand’s new diner style, with nostalgic decor, diner booths, and memorabilia with local flavor on the walls and ceiling.

“Portillo’s is excited to expand our Florida footprint to the Orlando-area. Our forthcoming location at Village at O-Town West will put us directly in front of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, while also serving the large number of Midwest expats in the area,” said Michael Osanloo, CEO of Portillo’s.

This announcement has my friends who lived in Chicago very excited. If you’ve eaten at one of their locations, do you have a favorite item off the Portillo’s menu?