Portillo's in Homewood?: Minutes With the Mayor

Homewood Village President Richard Hofeld answers questions from H-F Patch readers. This time, Hofeld explains his efforts to attract Portillo's to town.

Patch gathered questions from readers, for  Village President Richard Hofeld. Now, Patch will regularly air a series of video responses to the questions readers voted as most pressing.

In this feature, Hofeld explains what the village has done in attempt to attract Portillo's to Homewood. Despite a potentially multi-million dollar store opportunity, Hofeld says he hasn't seen much success as of yet.


Some years back we corresponded with Portillo’s. We had a letter writing campaign where the citizens wrote letters to Portillo’s. The last correspondence I had, I did a parody on one of the Portillo's ads. In the ad, Portillo’s was thanking the Chicagoland audience for their 28 locations and I copied their ad and I wrote back, ‘29 locations with Homewood.’ And again, I had a letter back from Dick Portillo and he said he would come out and look at the sites in Homewood but he thought they were too close to Crestwood or Tinley Park, which is ridiculous. We’re nowhere near Crestwood or Tinley Park.

The ideal location for a Portillo’s is the outlot in front of the , right next to Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s ideal. I’ve had developers out there look at that and they’ve said, ‘This would be a $5 million a year site for a Portillo’s.’ I’m always amazed when you drive past a Portillo’s, you look at the drive through—there are 20 cars in there—good lord, you’d think they’re giving the food away. So that would be an ideal site for them.

I’ve tried to get Dick Portillo’s secretary, at the time—if she’s still there, here name is Evelyn— to come out and be a judge at our Chocolate Fest, be a Judge at our Chili Fest—whatever we can do to keep our name in front of them and, to be honest with you, we’ve not had any success with them.

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Mike June 25, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Really? Looks like the Crestwood, Tinley Park and even Oak Lawn locations are closer to Homewood than the Merrillville location.
Paul Duran June 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Not sure it's a good idea to attract business by saying the owners are being "ridiculous"
Beth Faulkner June 25, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Meaning what, exactly?
Mike June 25, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I can only surmise that your point is to comfortably veil your racism behind the anonymity of the internet with this comment. I would like to suggest that you actually look at the demographics yourself (it's apparent that you are making assumptions). When comparing the 2010 US Census report for Crestwood, Oak Lawn, Tinley Park, Merrillville and then Homewood, you'll find no "certain" demographic pattern or socioeconomic pattern. In fact, their store in Merrillville completely refutes your argument.


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