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City of Glendale: Matt's Big Breakfast, Portillo's expanding to the West Valley

Posted at 10:01 AM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 11:25:18-05

GLENDALE, AZ — Attention, foodies in Glendale: Chicago hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and a Phoenix breakfast hot spot are apparently headed your way.

On Friday, the City of Glendale's Office of Economic Development announced in a press release that Portillo's and Matt's Big Breakfast both have plans to open restaurants in the West Valley. They join Barrio Queen and Lou Malnati's who have already announced their plans to open locations in Glendale.

Here is what we know about each.

Matt's Big Breakfast

Matt's Big Breakfast has signed on to open its sixth restaurant in the Valley at a new development near 75th Avenue and Rose Garden Lane. It will be part of the same development where Lou Malnati's plans to open a location focused on carryout and delivery.

Owner Matt Pool confirmed the expansion news to ABC15 via a text message on Friday. "We're excited," he said via text.

It is expected to open next summer, according to the news release.

Not much is yet known about the development itself. According to a schematic shared by the City of Glendale, the restaurant will be located next to Lou Malnati's. Dunkin Donuts also has plans to open a location there, according to the schematic.

Announced in May, Pool is also opening a location on the southwest corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads in Scottsdale, which will be the local chain's fifth spot in the Valley.

Initially slated to open in the fall, Pool said in a text message that the Scottsdale restaurant is expected to open before Christmas. Currently, he is hiring and training staff for that location. Other restaurants are in downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and Sky Harbor International Airport's Terminal 4.


According to the City of Glendale, Portillo's has filed plans to build an 8,000-square-foot restaurant and drive-thru near Arrowhead Towne Center.

The Chicago-based concept known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and "cake shakes" will apparently tear down the site of the Old Country Buffet, which is currently open and operating, and construct a new building, according to the City of Glendale's release.

When reached for comment on Friday, a spokesperson for the Chicago-based restaurant chain said, "We have no details to share at this time." That spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the City of Glendale's news release. ABC15 has submitted a public records request for documents related to Portillo's reported plans.

The City of Glendale said in its release that construction was expected to start early next year. It would mark Portillo's fourth restaurant in the Phoenix area.

In August, Portillo's opened a restaurant in Avondale, marking its first expansion to the West Valley. It has two other locations in Scottsdale and Tempe.

The future of the Old Country Buffet's location in Glendale remains unclear. It is not known when that location will close nor if there are plans to relocate somewhere else.

At least three employees, including those in management positions, seemed to have no knowledge of the news or the announcement by the City of Glendale. In fact, two people in management, contacted ABC15 to find out where the information for this story came from.

Stephanie Rodriguez, creative director at InkLink Marketing, which represents Ovation Brands, the parent company of Old Country Buffet, said in an email late Friday that "[Old Country Buffet] also just learned of the planned rebuilding and they are in the process of getting the facts."

According to the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, the land is owned by Haz Holdings LLC. As of Monday, ABC15 has been unable to reach the company for comment.

Barrio Queen

In October, Barrio Queen announced that it would open two restaurants in the West Valley.

The Valley-based Mexican restaurant will open in the former Rock Bottom Brewery space at Arrowhead Towne Center near 75th Avenue and Bell Road in Glendale. That location is anticipated to open in March 2020 to coincide with Spring Training, a spokesperson told ABC15 previously.

At nearly 7,000 square feet, it will be the chain's largest restaurant in the Phoenix area.

"We've had a lot of requests to bring the Barrio to the west side," a statement attributed to Barrio Queen management included in the October announcement said. "We have been looking for a while for the perfect spot for our brand and we believe we have found one in this area of Bell Road."

The chain also announced that it would open a location in Avondale, but no additional details have been released. It is not known where that location will open or when it is expected to open. Messages and voicemails to Barrio Queen have gone unanswered.

Lou Malnati’s

The Chicago-based pizzeria announced in September that it would open its fourth location in Arizona in the West Valley.

As we previously reported, Lou Malnati's has also signed on to open a nearly 2,000-square-foot location at a new development near 75th Avenue and Rose Garden Lane in Glendale, where it will join Matt's Big Breakfast and Dunkin Donuts.

The Glendale location, like the one in Arcadia, will not be a full-service dine-in restaurant. Instead, it will focus on carryout and delivery, according to a spokesperson for the Chicago-based pizzeria.

Lou Malnati's has restaurants at Uptown Plaza in Phoenix and Chauncey Lane in North Scottsdale.

The Glendale location is expected to open early next year, a spokesperson said.