Mayor: Portillo's coming to Homewood

The contract with Global Studios to complete a concept plan for the development of a community science center was deferred, but the Homewood board of trustees meeting Tuesday, Jan. 27, was filled with business development matters, including news of two new restaurants planning to open this year.

Village President Richard Hofeld announced that a Portillo's will be built at the intersection of 175th and Halsted streets.  He said the company plans to break ground in March.

"They would like to be open early in September," Hofeld said. "We will work diligently with them to meet their schedule. Portillos, welcome to Homewood."

Portillo's Hot Dogs is a popular suburban Chicago restaurant chain founded in 1963. The menu features hot dogs, hamburgers and Italian beef sandwiches. The company also offers catering and shipping services.

In recent years, the company has opened restaurants in California, Arizona and Indiana.

Hofeld thanked Village Manager Jim Marino and Village Attorney Chris Cummings for their hard work in attracting a business the village had long sought.

Delsie Ascencio, left, speaks
to Homewood trustees about
plans for a Mexican restaurant
she plans to open with her 
father at 17536 Dixie Highway.
Emanuel Ascencio, right, 
operates a barbershop in 
the same shopping center.

(Photo by Eric Crump/The

Chronicle readers rejoiced at the news. The post on The Chronicl Facebook page was seen by more than 13,000 people overnight and was liked by 180. 

Comments were mostly brief. "Woohoo!" was a representative exclamation. Another person said, "Homewood finally made it to the big time!" Hofeld was praised by one reader for being a  "go-getter."

Not everyone was pleased, however. One reader complained about Portillo's prices and another questioned the Halsted Street location. Otherwise, the reaction to the news was overwhelmingly positive.

The board also approved a special use permit for a Mexican restaurant to open at 17536 Dixie Highway.

Delsie Ascencio said she hopes to open Carnitas La Victoria early in April. 

The restaurant will feature traditional homemade Mexican food and will have carry out and dine in service, with seating for about  40 people. 

Emanuel Ascencio opened The Gallery, a barbershop, in May in the same shopping center at 17540 Dixie Highway. Delsie Ascencio said the two businesses will be mutually beneficial.

Trustees expressed support for the new business. And trustees Jay Heiferman and Ray Robertson said they hope it will provide an opportunity for the property owner to make improvements to the shopping center.

In other business -related moves, the board approved incentives for two downtown businesses. 

After renovations, Jonathan 
Kane Salon & Spa will open 
at 18065 Harwood Ave. in 
the south side of the building
currently occupied by 
Suzie's Hallmark.
(Photo by
Eric Crump/The Chronicle)

Jonathan Kane Salon and Spa will receive $40,000 to help with costs for renovating 18065 Harwood Ave. Total costs of the project will be more than $223,000, according to village officials. 

The incentives include funding from three Downtown Homewood Business Incentive Program categories -- retail enhancement, facade and property improvement and Go Green Reward.

Martin Arrivo will receive $3,825 to help upgrade the HVAC system at Homewood Florist, 18064 Martin Ave. The project will replace an aging and inefficient system with a 95 percent efficient system.

The business incentive program has the same categories and requirements as village tax increment financing programs but is for businesses that aren't in TIF districts. Money for incentives comes from the village general fund. 

Both projects approved Tuesday are in the former Central Business District TIF. The applications were submitted before that TIF district expired Dec. 31, 2014, but funds from the TIF had already been allocated.

Related story:
Two businesses set for winter openings in downtown Homewood (The Chronicle, Dec. 27, 2014)

More information:

Contact Eric Crump at [email protected]



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