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Chicago & Midwest  + Downtown  + Hospitality  | 

Portillo’s Names Chief Development Officer

Chicago-based fast-casual restaurant chain Portillo’s has appointed Mike Ellis as chief development officer. With more than 30 years’ experience scaling well-known restaurant brands across the U.S., Ellis will play a key role in leading Portillo’s growth plan as it scales in new and existing markets nationwide. 

“Mike joins Portillo’s at an exciting time in our high-growth journey,” said Michael Osanloo, president and CEO of Portillo’s. “I look forward to him sharing his skillset and knowledge as we continue to expand our restaurant base and introduce Portillo’s Chicago-style favorites to new legions of fans.” 

Prior to joining Portillo’s, Ellis was VP of real estate and development at Cracker Barrel, where he spearheaded growth development strategy, new restaurant openings and the development of a new prototype that significantly improved operational efficiencies. Additionally, Ellis previously served as CDO and COO of FoodFirst Global Restaurants, and the CDO of Ruby Tuesday and O’Charley’s Inc. 

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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