In huge news for barbecue fans as well as old downtown Plano, Bishop Arts BBQ spot Lockhart Smokehouse will open a second branch at 1026 E. 15th St., the main drag on Plano's downtown strip.
The restaurant is going into the Sutton Place furniture store, which is cutting its space in half to sublease to Lockhart, says Kevin Sutton, who owns the store with his father, Richard.
"The wall will be going up in the next couple weeks," Kevin says. "We decided to do this because the property value is just worth too much these days. It made more sense for us to be a landlord."
Lockhart co-owner Jill Grobowsky Bergus calls it a "fabulous area."
"We live in Far North Dallas, and we've been gong to Jorg's Cafe Vienna for years," she says. "Now Jorg is our new best friend, because we talk about the neighborhood. It reminds us of Bishop Arts, with the urban environment of people walking around and stumbling in. And that area is bereft of barbecue. There are a few places on the west by the Tollway, but there really isn't anything over there."
Downtown Plano's landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, Kevin Sutton says.
"It's bars and restaurants, bars and restaurants," he says. "At nighttime it's hot. You compare that to the '80s and '90s, when it was little shops."
Sutton says there's a chance he and his father may end up renting out the rest of the space too. "If having Lockhart in increases the property value on this side, it would make sense," he says. "We may up leasing out both sides and going to someplace like downtown McKinney, where it’s more retail focused."
As for the timetable, Bergus is aiming for sometime this year. "We have to do demo and construction, but we're hoping before the year ends," she says.