Pollo Campero, a Guatemalan fast-food chicken restaurant, is being planned an outlot in the northeast corner of the property where Hobby Lobby is located, at 7451 Cermak Road in North Riverside. | PROVIDED

North Riverside is apparently one of the more than 100 locations in the United States where a Guatemala-based fast-food chain is looking to expand its presence in the coming year.

Pollo Campero, an all-chicken restaurant chain which sells fried and grilled chicken meals, sandwiches and empanadas, has submitted a petition for a public hearing in front of the North Riverside Planning and Zoning Commission to consider a plan to build a new 2,518-square-foot restaurant on a 0.7-acre section of northeast parking lot in front of Hobby Lobby, 7451 Cermak Road.

Village Administrator Sue Scarpiniti said Pollo Campero is looking to get in front of the Planning and Zoning Commission sometime in February.

“We’ve been talking to them for about six months,” said Scarpiniti, who added Pollo Campero wants to finalize engineering and architectural plans before formally presenting them at a hearing.

According to a site plan included in Pollo Campero’s public hearing petition, the restaurant would include a drive-thru, an outdoor dining area and dedicated parking for 30 vehicles.

Access to the restaurant would be via a curb cut on Cermak Road and via a drive aisle connecting 7451 Cermak Road with the parking lot just north of Kohl’s in the adjacent North Riverside Plaza shopping center.

According to Cori Moran, a spokesperson for Pollo Campero, the North Riverside restaurant is on track to open in 2024

If the restaurant ends up being built, North Riverside and the surrounding area will certainly not be at a loss for chicken options. There’s a Chick-fil-A just east of the proposed Pollo Campero location, a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers location a few blocks south of Harlem Avenue and Popeye’s Chicken just across Harlem Avenue in Berwyn.

What’s different about Pollo Campero are its spices and toppings, such as the cayenne and habanero sauce on its spicy chicken sandwiches, and sides like yuca fries and fried sweet plantains.

According to information provided by Moran, the recipe is “considered a national treasure of Guatemala.” In addition to fried chicken Pollo Campero offers “slow-marinated, citrus-infused grilled chicken.”

While founded in Guatemala in 1971, Pollo Campero International’s headquarters are in Dallas. The chain has more roughly 350 locations in Central America, North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

There are about 80 locations in the United States, principally in California, in the Washington, D.C, metro area and the New York City/Long Island region. Two of the company’s U.S. locations are in Illinois, one in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago and one in the River North neighborhood, which opened in November.

Last month, a website called FastCasual.com reported that Pollo Campero was embarking on a U.S. expansion effort that seeks to increase its number of locations in the country to 250 by 2026.

“Our initial focus is corporate growth in California, New York, Chicago and Florida,” said Luis Javier Rodas in late November during an interview with FastCasual.com’s Cherryh Cansler.