Sterling Heights landmark renamed 'Golden Onion Ring' to mark Portillo’s grand opening

Portillo’s renames golden ring in Sterling Heights
Photo credit Portillo’s

(WWJ) A much joked about Macomb County monument known by many names will get a new one for a day to celebrate a restaurant's grand opening.

Fast-casual brand Portillo’s is making its mark on Sterling Heights, starting with the city’s much-talked about Golden Ring, officially named "The Halo.:

To commemorate the opening of the brand’s newest restaurant on Tuesday, March 16, Portillo’s will be “renaming” the landmark, “Portillo’s Golden Onion Ring” for one day in honor of the brand’s newest location at 14425 Lakeside Circle, near Lakeside Mall.

Portillo’s is located across the street from the golden structure, in the busy restaurant and retail corridor of the Detroit suburb.

“I love visiting the city of Chicago, and Portillo’s has always been a favorite stop when I visit, so I’m thrilled they have chosen Sterling Heights as their first Michigan location. It’s right in my backyard now,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael. Taylor. “I hear Portillo’s has decided to rename The Halo the “Golden Onion Ring” on March 16 for their grand opening. We knew from the start that The Halo was going to create a positive distinction for the City, and I’m so happy to see local businesses leveraging it to let people know where they are located and to create some fun buzz. It’s truly become an icon for economic development along M-59 in Sterling Heights.”

There's been plenty of talk about the 35-foot structure since it appeared in the Hall Road/M-29 median in January of 2019 -- part of a $1.8 million landscape project branding the stretch the "Golden Corridor." While some residents complained about the price tag (around $339,350 total for the ring and signs), lighthearted jabs have been the norm, with jokes referencing Lord of the Rings, Sonic the Hedgehog, Stargate and a "Golden Butthole" nickname that's really seemed to stick.

“Our team is delighted to be putting our own Portillo’s spin on The Halo Monument,” says Jeff Deppe, director of new restaurant operations. “When we first saw the landmark, we were struck by its resemblance to our crispy, golden onion rings. The renaming reflects our brand’s fun-loving personality and our excitement for joining the Sterling Heights community.”

On a more serious note: Jobs are available.

Portillo’s is looking to fill a variety of hourly and shift leader positions, with added incentives for applicants. The brand is offering a referral program for hired employees, in which they receive wireless headphones for applicant referrals that lead to employment. Employees also receive a $250 signing bonus after their first 90 days of employment with the company.

Interested applicants can visit or apply in-person at Portillo’s Sterling Heights restaurant. Open interviews take place Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Upon completing an interview with Portillo’s, applicants will receive a shirt, winter beanie, and one voucher for a free sandwich (hot dog or Italian beef), fries and a drink. The meal voucher can be redeemed at Portillo’s once the restaurant opens on March 16.

For more information on the new restaurant, visit or follow Portillo’s on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Portillo’s