A popular Chicago restaurant that often draws a crowd to its new Fishers location is planning to bring its signature hot dogs and beef to the southside.

Portillo’s has announced it is opening a new location off U.S. 31, just south of Stop 11 Road. The southside location will be the eatery’s third in Indiana, joining ones in Fishers and Merrillville. The 9,000 square-foot-restaurant, which will include two drive-thru lanes, seasonal outdoor seating and will sell beer, is scheduled to open this summer, according to the company. The restaurant is building at the site of a long-closed restaurant off U.S. 31.

Portillo’s is the latest new business to locate along U.S. 31 on the southside.

While the address isn’t actually in Greenwood, it will still benefit the city, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said.

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When shoppers and visitors come to the southside to visit stores and restaurants, they often also head south to the mall or to other places in Greenwood, Myers said.

“I am disappointed we are not getting it in Greenwood, but we still get a benefit,” Myers said.

Last year, Giordano’s, a Chicago-based pizza chain, announced plans to open at the site of the former Max and Erma’s restaurant on U.S. 31, north of County Line Road. Five Below, a teen-oriented retail store, is also planning to open in a new location in an existing shopping center on U.S. 31 north of County Line Road.

The new development comes two years after a shopping center north of Greenwood Park Mall was redesigned, bringing new stores, such as Ulta and TJ Maxx, and two new organic markets, Earth Fare and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, to the southside.

In past years, local officials have said finding space along U.S. 31 on the southside near the mall is becoming more difficult, and recently developers have begun to redevelop previously vacant sites.

Most recently, the closure of a Babies “R” Us location just north of County Line Road was announced as part of a bankruptcy filing. A Toys “R” Us store located south of it will remain open. What will happen with the site next has not yet been determined. In some areas, Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us have been combined into one store, according to the company.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.