So, the two parties came back together to give it one more shot.
Portillo made it clear he was not budging on the Mulford and State location, according to Mahajan.
"He didn't want to go anywhere else," said Mahajan. "We offered him free land in front of Meijers and he said no."
So after a quick two month approval at Rockford City Hall, Dick Portillo ended up on the corner of Mulford and State, 100 feet from where he originally wanted his restaurant to go in 2001.
"Getting a good location, a great location, is one of the toughest parts of opening a Portillo's," Portillo said.
The Rockford Portillo's is expected to gross $9 to $11 million in sales.
It will generate tax revenues for the city to the tune of $150,000 a year, said Mahajan, who said the money will stay in the special tax district is going in along State Street.
But for the Webers and other faithful Portillo's followers, taxes and sales revenues don't add up. They're just glad that starting at 10:30 a.m. on June 9, when the Rockford Portillo's opens, they won't have to drive far anymore to get their Portillo's fix.
The man behind the website to "Bring Portillo's to Rockford," was also personally invited to the grand opening by Portillo. Doug Cohen, a web designer, will get a reserved parking space on opening day. Just for one day.
It will come in handy because First Midwest is predicting officers will have to direct traffic for the first few months the restaurant opens.
As for Mahajan, now that the 10 year battle to bring Portillo's to Rockford is over for him, he's already working on the next big thing.
He said he calls Trader Joe's corporate office once a month, just to check in, and let them know he's interested in working out a deal to bring the store to Rockford.