SOUTH PORTLAND — After 10 years serving patrons on Route 1 in Scarborough, Chicago Dogs will move to South Portland this summer.
The new restaurant at 671 Main St. is slated to open July 1, owner Joe Palmieri said Tuesday. The Scarborough store at 285 U.S. Route 1 will stay open through July.
Named for the distinct Chicago-style hot dogs the restaurant serves, the menu at Chicago Dogs includes dogs with various toppings, hand-cut shoestring fries, and Chicago beef sandwiches.
His goal for at least in the last five years, Palmieri said, has been to move closer to South Portland, where his family has lived for more than 25 years.
After scouting locations in Portland and South Portland, including the Old Port and near the Maine Mall, Palmieri settled on the vacant restaurant connected to the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge at the corner of Main and Westbrook streets, in Thornton Heights.
Palmieri believes the neighborhood is the next big area of revitalization in the city.
“This is the perfect spot,” he said Tuesday as he walked through the new space, which is still being renovated. He hopes the business becomes an “anchor” in the west end of the city, and will add to the neighborhood’s growing appeal as a desirable location for businesses.
The new location, which will give Palmieri about 2,000 more square feet and an industrial-sized kitchen, will also include a bar, which the Scarborough location lacks, he said. There will be 18 taps, half of which will pour locally brewed beer.
The larger space will also mean an expanded menu and more opportunities to cater events, Palmieri said.
Chicago Dogs is not a chain restaurant, but Palmieri said his hope is to open others around the state.
Scarborough’s Chicago Dogs restaurant will move to the Thornton Heights neighborhood in South Portland in July, at 671 Main St.