Reflections of a Restaurateur

Jill Bergus of Lockhart Smokehouse

An exclusive eskca interview with Jill Bergus (owner) of Lockhart Smokehouse, which was honored in our:
Tell us your origin story. How did you come to be involved with Lockhart Smokehouse?

We opened Lockhart Smokehouse in 2011 because there weren’t any barbecue places like what I had grown up with in Central Texas in Dallas. My family comes from Texas barbecue through Kreuz Market, which is a Texas legend. We used those family connections to bring a little bit of Central Texas flavor to Dallas. At that time, craft BBQ was just becoming a thing and we were lucky enough to land right at the beginning of the wave.

What were the biggest hurdles you encountered in your journey?

We were new to the restaurant industry. We joke we got our MBA’s in the process of opening and learning about the restaurant world. And even after being open for over 10 years, we are learning something new every day.

What does the future hold for you and Lockhart Smokehouse?

Ask me that in another 5 years. After COVID, we are just happy to still be here!

What are your thoughts on the food scene in Dallas?

What a vibrant place to be! There is some hidden food gem in every suburb of DFW and always fantastic places I want to try.

What’s your best advice for aspiring restaurateurs?

Overestimate your costs in launching and always keep a cash reserve!

Our readers love recommendations! What’s your favorite dish at Lockhart Smokehouse?

The Texas Trio is great – brisket, ribs, and Kreuz market sausage. I love our prime rib – we do it as a special on the weekends. Turkey is also a must have for something a little lighter.


For more exclusive interviews, see our full Reflections of a Restaurateur series