Answers by Jill Bergus, co-owner of Lockhart Smokehouse
Dallas barbecue is some of the best in the state (and country). Lockhart's Smokehouse is one of the top Dallas bbq destinations. Here's a look into their company culture:
What’s the story behind Lockhart Smokehouse? How’d you guys get started?
My Grandfather was the owner of Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas for many years and my cousin still runs the business. We were visiting New York City and Hill Country BBQ in (I think) 2009 and the walls of the restaurant had pictures of my uncle and all the Kreuz Market staff; and we couldn’t believe that New York had BBQ that we couldn’t get in Dallas.
What was it like getting it off the ground?
It was a challenge! But we were very lucky to have a storied Texas brand behind us, plus the fact we could call my cousin, Keith Schmidt, when we ran into something we didn’t know how to deal with.
What makes you guys different?
The Central Texas meat market tradition and the communal aspect of sharing the BBQ. We don’t do the 3 meat plates, because it’s much more fun to unwrap the smokey butcher paper present and dig in with your friends and family.
How have you been able to be a part of the Oak Cliff community?
We were so lucky getting our space right before the Bishop Arts district really blew up, the community has been so welcoming. It’s one of the things that really drew us to the neighborhood, the fact that you can walk around and get to know your neighbor.
What’s your favorite thing about Lockhart’s?
The feeling of continuing a family tradition. If you are talking meat, I love fatty brisket!
What’s been the biggest hurdle you’ve faced/ toughest thing you’ve gone through as a business? How’d you get past it?
The one that always comes to mind is the one star review from the Dallas Morning News. This happened right after another business had closed down the street after getting one a few months before. We were really mad/angry/scared but ultimately, the reviewer made some good points and allowed us to improve and become a much better restaurant.
What’s a secret menu item we need to know about?
Well we have secret items all the time, but they aren’t terribly secret since we post daily to Facebook and Twitter.