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U of I alum named Portillo’s CEO: Can we get one in C-U now, please?

This might be a pipe dream, but we can dream, can’t we? It was announced today via the Chicago Tribune that the new CEO of Portillo’s is University of Illinois alum Keith Kinsey. He’ll take over July 1st. 

Question: Can we get a damn Portillo’s in Champaign-Urbana, please?

Oh my, how this would be a terrific thing to happen. Of course, there’s nothing that says this will happen. We’re just posing the question because we can.

Here’s some info from the Chicago Tribune article:

Keith Kinsey will take over July 1, becoming the second CEO at Portillo’s, succeeding Portillo, who founded the company in 1963. The company said Portillo will continue to be involved in the business.

Kinsey, 61 and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has for the past decade been an executive at Noodles & Company, where he joined as chief financial officer in 2005 and is currently president and chief operating officer. His July 1 resignation from Noodles & Co. was also announced Monday.

Later this year, Portillo’s plans to expand in Illinois, to Homewood and Gurnee. Its Rockford store opened earlier this month. Portillo’s restaurants are also in Tempe and Scottsdale, Ariz.; Buena Park and Moreno Valley, Calif.; and Merrillville, Ind. Last week the company announced it would open in Tampa, Fla., in 2016.

Kicker: “plans to expand in Illinois” could mean a lot of things, though they mostly note the suburbs here. Perhaps the U of I connection could pull on Kinsey’s heartstrings to get something downstate for us?

Though this has been rumored/on people’s wish lists for some time now, we joked about it this past April.

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