Portillo’s has announced that their newest location will be in…

[OH PLEASE SAY QUINCY! PLEEEEEEEASE SAY QUINCY!]

...Peoria.

[DAWWWWW!!]

Now I admit, that doesn’t really help us here. While the new Portillo’s site will be the closest to the Gem City, it’s still a good 130 miles away, which by any stretch of the imagination is still a hell of a hike for a hot dog and chocolate shake.

But there’s a silver lining here.

Currently 36 of the 42 Portillo’s locations in the country are in Illinois and the vast majority of those are in or around the Chicago area. The Peoria location will be the third Portillo’s restaurant located within three hours of Quincy (Champaign and Normal being the others).

But consider this: In April of 2016, the State Journal-Register made the announcement that Portillo’s would soon be coming to Normal, Illinois. In the piece, a company official said that Portillo’s was “considering several locations throughout central Illinois, including Champaign, Springfield and Peoria.”

Normal’s site opened in August of 2016. Champaign’s opened in May of 2017. And Peoria’s is set for sometime in 2018. No word on if (or when) we’ll see one just up the road in Springfield.

Now don’t go holding your breath for a Quincy location or anything. But you have to admit, for a restaurant synonymous with the Windy City, that’s a pretty big southward expansion in just two years. And a Springfield location (fingers crossed) would at least fall somewhere in the realm of convenience.

And keep this in mind. It seems that every time Portillo’s announces a new location, they do it with a letter thanking the community for “peppering [them] with requests to open”. So why not flood their inbox with requests for a Quincy location? It couldn’t hurt, right?