When a Restaurant Renovates a Historic Space

Photos courtesy of Lockhart Smokehouse

I recently wrote a story for Dallas Observer about restaurants that have been open for seven years. It was prompted by curiosity about whether restaurants (like some relationships) experience what's called a seven-year itch. So I searched for old news articles about restaurants that opened in 2014 or shortly before or after. I decided that a seven-year itch doesn't really apply, even though a couple of recent closures (BrainDead Brewing, TNT Tacos and Tequila) were indeed around the seven-year mark. Most of the restaurants that closed didn't make it that long.

But of course, some did. Despite the hardships of the last couple of years, they're thriving and ready for another seven (or even 70) years. I reached out to some of the business owners to see if they'd like to share their best or funniest memories, lessons learned, hardest challenges or anything like that.

To my delight, one of the people I head from was Jill Bergus of Lockhart Smokehouse. As I quoted her saying in the Observer story, in 2014 "we were high off of making the Texas Monthly top 50 list for the first time and scouted out locations that were manageable but didn’t have too much BBQ nearby.  Downtown Plano fit the feeling that we liked in the Bishop Arts district and we had been long time customer’s of Jorg’s Café Vienna across the street." 

What didn't make it into the story was this:

"In rehabbing the over 100-year-old building to bring it up to code, one of the coolest things we found was an old beer can under the floors that needed a can opener to open it."

I love learning little fun facts like this about restaurants, so I absolutely had to share this. 

I haven't been to downtown Plano recently, but I love what they have going on there. Another thing I like about it is that it's easily accessible thanks to the DART rail. 

And rest assured, if you have a beer with your brisket or Kreuz Market sausage at Lockhart Smokehouse, you won't need a can opener to open it. Check them out in downtown Plano, Bishop Arts or at Arlington Live.