The founder of a Dallas barbecue institution died two days before Thanksgiving. Alvin Darrel Plaskoff of Big Al's Smokehouse Barbecue, which he opened in 1973, died Nov. 24 at the age of 74. According to a press release, his family will continue to run the restaurant.
Plaskoff, a Cleveland, Ohio, native, spent the late '60s and early '70s as a meat salesman for Farmer's Meat Market in downtown Dallas, where he sold "briskets, hams and other meats to a considerable array of now-popular barbecue restaurants," according to the release. He opened Big Al’s Smokehouse Barbecue in 1973 "and continued outsourcing meats to fund his brainchild," according to the release. "As a businessman, Al went through great lengths to ensure customer access to all prime cut meats. He even introduced beef ribs to the Dallas barbecue scene as a daily menu special and gained popularity for it."
The barbecue joint "grew into a citywide franchise during the ‘80s, complete with catering services and a lasting influence on the DFW culinary world," according to the release. "As of today, most Dallas barbecue restaurants serve the beef rib at least one day each week."
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Big Al's now has one location, at 3317 Inwood Road near Love Field, and the restaurant will remain open and under his surviving family's management. A memorial service has been set for noon Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Temple Emanu-El of Dallas.