Skip to main content

Portillo's plans to open a hot dog joint in Maple Grove are rejected

It would have been Minnesota's second Portillo's location.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Sorry Maple Grove, no Chicago-style hot dogs for you.

Portillo's, the famous Chicago beef and hot dog chain, has seen its plans to open what would be its second Minnesota restaurant thwarted by Maple Grove City Council.

The restaurant chain had planned to spend $3.2 million on a restaurant on what is currently parking lot space across Elm Creek Boulevard North from the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, with a submission to Maple Grove City Council estimating it would generate $4-6 million in sales and create "numerous employment opportunities" for local residents.

A loss of parking and a probable increase in traffic congestion from Portillo's popular drive-thru was expected to be the main stumbling block to the council approving the plans, but it was concern for the future of the Arbor Lakes mall that mainly prompted the council's rejection at Monday's meeting.

Despite Mayor Mark Steffenson and council member Phil Leith being in favor of the project, members Karen Jaeger, Judy Hanson and Kristy Barnett voted against it. You can watch the meeting here.

All three were skeptical of claims from the general manager of Arbor Lakes and Portillo's that the restaurant would be a "destination" that would drive more foot traffic to the Shoppes, which like most retail malls has been struggling with store closures in recent years.

They thought the distance between the proposed Portillo's from the Shoppes was too great to suggest it would result in more people shopping at the mall, and believe it needs to be closer to encourage more shopping.

"If it was further up into the shopping area I could see where you would walk around and shop but it seems quite a long way to go," Jaeger said.

"I'm not entirely convinced bringing in a destination restaurant is going to deal with the vacancy issues we have at Arbor Lakes," Hanson said. "It's far enough from the shops that it's not going to cause me to walk the distance and do shopping."

The council will need to approve a denial order at a later meeting to make the decision final.

Maple Grove mayor not happy

The decision did not sit well with Mayor Steffenson, who said after the vote: "I don't understand it quite frankly. I have to comment that we have to have a vision for the community, but I don't understand this."

"We have gone out, we have tried to make this community a better, more attractive place for businesses to come, and this does not fulfill that desire," he added.

The council had earlier heard from Arbor Lakes general manager Michael Landstad, who was speaking out in favor of Portillo's, saying the landscape for retail is changing to the point where destination restaurants are replacing so-called "anchor" stores as the prime drivers of foot traffic.

Landstad noted the Shoppes had seen Banana Republic, J. Crew and Anthropologie pull out in the past few years.

Portillo's will open its first Minnesota restaurant in Woodbury in late July.

Next Up

Pixabay - gray squirrel

Squirrel blamed for Friday power outage impacting over 5,000 homes

There's no telling when or where the squirrels will strike next.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 8.11.55 AM

Seattle man federally indicted in massive Bloomington fentanyl bust

The case is believed to represent the largest fentanyl bust in the Midwest.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 9.27.53 AM

Nicollet Diner to launch new, expanded home with a drag show

The new location will still feature the diner's classic offerings, as well as a new cabaret venue and cocktail lounge.

police tape, crime scene

Woman found dead at Minneapolis home was stabbed multiple times

LaTiffany Altanette Lessley was found dead in a north Minneapolis home Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 4.48.45 PM

Bloomington PD announce what's likely 'largest fentanyl bust in Midwest'

The case is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Sept. 27

This week's report represents data collected Sept. 21-27.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 2.56.10 PM

MN health officials warn of potential for measles outbreak amid rise in cases

A recent case among a child with no travel history is prompting heightened concern.

skid steer

Four-year-old boy dies in accident on western Wisconsin farm

The boy was struck by a skid steer, according to police.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 2.41.51 PM

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge hits the market for $6M

The restaurant will remain open while the property is on the market.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 12.27.48 PM

Apartments, brewery proposed for site of former Minneapolis lumberyard

The developer is proposing two buildings connected via skyway.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 1.27.38 PM

'Exceptionally rare' meteorite impact crater found in the Twin Cities metro

Had it struck in today's world, much of the Twin Cities would've been wiped out.

Grand Old Day

Organizers seeking ideas for 'reimagining' of Grand Old Day

A task force is set to begin meeting next month to reimagine the event.

Related

Portillo's plans to open a hot dog joint in Maple Grove are rejected

It would have been Minnesota's second Portillo's location.

Petition calls for Maple Grove to reverse its decision blocking Portillo's from opening

Some Twin Cities residents weren't happy with Maple Grove's decision to block Portillo's attempt to open its second Minnesota location.