Chicago Dogs, which originally opened in South Portland 15 years ago, is coming back to the city in a new location.
Headquartered off Route 1 in Scarborough’s Oak Hill neighborhood since 2008, Chicago Dogs will open in its new location, on the corner of Westbrook and Main streets in South Portland’s west end, on July 1, according to owner Joe Palmieri.
The 671 Main St. location, home of the once-popular Tony Roma’s restaurant, has seen many eateries come and go, including most recently a Mexican restaurant and a Chinese buffet.
However, Palmieri told the Current this week, “I believe the location is outstanding. It has worked in the past with Tony Roma’s and I believe our well-known brand will work there, as well. (I have) no concerns what so ever. Those other (businesses) closed for reasons that had little to do with the location.”
The goal for the new location, Palmieri said, is to “expand the menu, offer more comfortable seating and have a pub, which we don’t have now. We will have a kitchen large enough to handle catering.”
He said the Scarborough location for Chicago Dogs, which is adjacent to the Sparkle Clean car wash, would remain open until Aug. 3.
On the company website, Palmieri said, “Chicago Dogs brings the taste of the Windy City to Maine. We feature authentic, Chicago-style, all-beef dogs. Try our signature Chicago Style Dog that includes tomatoes, pickles, onion, mustard and (is) topped off with our homemade green relish, sport peppers and celery salt.”
Chicago Dogs also features more than a dozen different varieties of hot dogs, from chili cheese to kraut to soy. The menu also includes Philly cheese steaks, sausages, wraps, salads and milk shakes made from real ice cream.
The restaurant also features a number of Maine-made products, such as Mother’s Mustard, Maine Men Hot Sauce and the Coastal Maine Popcorn Co.
As for the new South Portland location, Palmieri said, “We are going to be very active in the community. We don’t just want people to spend their money here, we want to be part of South Portland. We are not a chain. We are locally owned and operated by a South Portland family.”
The South Portland City Council granted Chicago Dogs its liquor license during a meeting Monday.
Chicago Dogs will be leaving Scarborough this summer for a new spot on the western end of Main Street in South Portland.
A new sign announcing the coming of Chicago Dogs has gone up at a vacant restaurant at 671 Main St. in South Portland.