Portillo's is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday in Illinois next week, and we just found some shocking facts you might not know about how the company got started.

Portillo's 60th Birthday Celebration in Illinois

On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, Portillo's will be holding a big 60th birthday celebration at its Rosemont restaurant, and we're all invited to be a part of the fun!

Fox 32 Chicago says this big bash will include tastings of original Portillo's menu items from 1963, and special 60th birthday merchandise for purchase, but it will also serve as the kickoff to a 10-stop 60th Birthday tour of Portillo's original "Dog House"...

The Dog House Tour will be visiting 10 different Illinois Portillo's locations each week through June 8, 2023, including a stop in Rockford on June 1!

The Shocking Thing Most People Don't Know About Portillo's

Portillo's via Facebook
Portillo's via Facebook

When I went on a hunt for more information about the history of the Dog House and the original menu items it served, I discovered a few shocking things...

One, Dick Portillo stopped at nothing to make his business a success, no matter how shady.

Two, the Dog House he served food from did not have a bathroom or running water, so he had to run a 250-foot garden hose into the shack to get water.

Three, the hot dogs used to SUCK. Seriously.

According to a Chicago Tribune article from 2018, when Dick Portillo first opened the Dog House, he had no idea how to cook hot dogs; "The dogs were overcooked and the buns were dry and burnt".


To remedy the problem, Dick Portillo "went to the Gene and Jude's hot dog stand (founded in 1946, now a restaurant in River Grove) and watched how they steamed the buns. He also sneaked into its storeroom to see what kind of relish they used".

Kinda shady, kinda brilliant, right?

Want to learn even more little-known truths about Portillo's? Check out this article from mashed.com.

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