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Madison's first Portillo’s hot dog restaurant, planned for a location next to East Towne Mall, is expected to be about 9,000 square feet with more than 200 seats inside and an additional 26 seats on a covered, outdoor patio. A drive-thru window is also part of the design. 

Construction is projected to start next spring, with a fall 2018 opening. The address will be 4505 East Towne Blvd. 

Those details were included in a memorandum or letter of intent from the construction and engineering firm JSD Professional Services to the city's urban design commission.

A neighborhood meeting was held Sept. 28 to talk about the restaurant's conditional use proposal. The project will go before the Urban Design Commission on Dec. 20, according to city planner Janine Glaeser.  

CBL & Associates Properties and Portillo’s Hot Dogs are proposing a freestanding restaurant on an "outlot" or parking lot owned by JC Penney northwest of East Towne Mall. The memo said the restaurant's hours are typically 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The building's design "will include an upgraded brick structure with accents of clear stainless steel, creating an Art Deco-based diner building," JSD's Justin Frahm wrote in the memo.

Access to the site will be limited to an interior ring road, he said.

The fast-casual restaurant chain based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is known for its loaded Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, chopped salad and chocolate cake shake.

Founder Dick Portillo invested $1,100 and opened his first Portillo's hot dog stand, "The Dog House," in 1963 in Villa Park, Illinois. After growing Portillo's to 38 locations, Dick Portillo sold the company to Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm.

Now there are 50 Portillo's, with more on the way. In July 2016, Wisconsin’s first Portillo's opened at 17685 W. Blue Mound Road in Brookfield.

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Wisconsin State Journal food writer Samara Kalk Derby brings you the latest news on the Madison area's eclectic restaurant scene.