Two relatives of legendary Kreuz Market owner Edgar "Smitty" Schmidt are trying to save Dallasites the trouble of making a four-hour drive to Lockhart.
Jill Bergus, Schmidt's step-granddaughter, is partnering with pit master Tim McLaughlin to open Lockhart Smokehouse on the corner of West Davis Street and North Bishop Avenue in the Bishop Arts District. Kreuz Market owner Keith Schmidt, Edgar Schmidt's grandson, will serve as a consultant.
Lockhart Smokehouse will be the exclusive purveyor of Kreuz Market sausage in Dallas.
"For everyone who misses good barbecue in Dallas, we hope to fill that void," Bergus says.
McLaughlin will be smoking sausage, ribs, prime rib and "amazing brisket" over Texas post oak. In true Lockhart style, the meats will be served on butcher paper.
Bergus refused to reveal whether the restaurant will provide sauce and forks, which Kreuz Market has long shunned.
"We have to save something for the next story," she laughs.
Kreuz Market opened in 1900 as a combination grocery store and meat market. Edgar Schmidt, a 12-year employee, bought the business in 1948. Schmidt's sons took over operations in 1999, but couldn't agree on a lease with their sister, Nina Sells, who owned the property: Kreuz Market moved up the road, and Sells opened Smitty's in the original Kreuz Market location. Both restaurants are revered by Texas barbecue connoisseurs; Bergus admits she has the right bloodline for the smoked meat game.
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"One would hope so," she says.
In addition to pedigree, Bergus is relying on the talents of McLaughlin, a 29-year old native of St. Louis who relocated to Dallas in 2008. McLaughlin, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, has served as a consultant to Wapango Pan-Latin and Woodlands American Grill. He now works as a personal chef and culinary instructor.
According to McLaughlin's official bio, "all his dishes have a unique purpose and story, which Timothy holds near to his heart."
Bergus is aiming to have Lockhart Smokehouse open by the beginning of next year.