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Lockhart Smokehouse Celebrates 10 Years In Plano, Texas

The barbecue restaurant continues to serve up masterpieces and delight guests

Over a decade ago, Lockhart Smokehouse debuted in Bishop Arts, and owners Jeff and Jill Bergus, aimed to transport central Texas flavors to North Texas. Jill’s family legacy began when her grandfather acquired Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas in 1948, igniting a tradition of barbecue mastery spanning generations.

Jill hails from Temple and Jeff from DeSoto; both briefly resided in New York City. Jill worked in television production, Jeff in fashion. Yet, the 2008 recession prompted a career shift and a return to their Texan roots

Enchanted by the Bishop Arts ambiance, Jill and Jeff opted to establish their flagship there in 2011. Lockhart Smokehouse swiftly captured the neighborhood's heart, earning accolades as Dallas's premier barbecue joint within its inaugural year.

In search of a historic locale for its counterpart, the duo explored various downtown districts. Jeff's encounter with downtown Plano in 2014 echoed the allure of their Bishop Arts hub and the two fell in love with the community-centered, charming city. 

Now, the duo is celebrating 10 years in Plano — bringing barbecue masterpieces to residents and visitors alike. 

Here’s Local Profile’s Q&A with Jill Bergus: 

What makes Texas BBQ unique?

Texas BBQ is unique because it is so adaptable. You can add the basic elements of Texas barbecue to any culture or cuisine. Brisket enchiladas, barbacoa, pizza and ramen are a couple of favorites that come to mind.

How has Texas BBQ changed over the years?

It has absolutely proliferated — when we opened Lockhart Smokehouse in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District and historic downtown Plano, there were far fewer really great barbecue restaurants. According to some folks, we may have reached the barbecue peak.

What do you believe North Texas is missing in terms of BBQ?

I don’t know that anything is missing. There are so many great options and different styles of BBQ to try throughout the state.

What does Lockhart bring to the North Texas community?

We bring the central Texas culture of community dining that I grew up with. Eating on paper and sharing food with friends and family at the table is the best family-style dining!

How does Lockhart continue to be ranked one of the best BBQ restaurants in DFW?

Every day we try to figure out what we can do better. The restaurant business is always changing and we strive to adapt to how we can make our customer’s dining experience better. Everyone loves the sights and smells of Texas barbecue.

After 10 years in Plano, what’s next?

We feel so blessed that Dallas has been in business for 14 years and 10 years in Plano. We’re enjoying this ride for now.

What is something you hope to bring to Lockhart in the future?

We have some great talent in the kitchen and we love to let our team experiment. That’s how we have come up with some of our most popular dishes including the whiskey-butter turkey, burnt end chili and mango habanero sauces for our meats while remaining consistent with customer favorites like beef ribs, brisket and Kreuz Market sausage that we get from my family’s restaurant in Lockhart.

If you could only eat one BBQ dish, what would it be?

Oof that is tough, I love our prime rib. Fatty brisket? Beef ribs, turkey…and then there are all of the sides. I can’t pick a favorite!

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