Zachary Bergenholtz has found his happy place. A northwest Plano native and Plano Senior High graduate, he owns Blu’s BBQ, which opened in June 2019 at 17630 Preston Road in North Dallas.
Zachary gets his business sense from his father, a “serial entrepreneur,” as Zachary says, who taught him and his brother skills like how to trade stocks.
But how did barbecue become his passion?
“My parents had a large home. We had a barbecue and a large kitchen,” Zachary said. “I always liked to cook. I was required to have tutoring five hours a week in any area I wanted. I had executive chefs teach me to cook and prepare things from scratch, everything from Italian food to steaks to barbecue.”
He further developed his barbecue chops at Texas Tech by cooking for fraternities and sororities, often making hundreds of pounds of meat for their events. After graduating from Tech, he returned to DFW and saw a niche he could fill in the local barbecue scene.
“Saw there was a continued need for the product, for great barbecue. Went into barbecue catering,” Zachary said. “Did a lot of that and decided to open a restaurant. The restaurant’s initial purpose was to feed the staff and employees of the venues we’d been catering for. One thing led to another and now we’re feeding about 2,000 people a week.”
What’s On the Menu
Blu’s, which is named for the owner’s beloved Mastiff, serves standards like beef brisket, chicken, pulled pork, sausage and turkey.
However, the true genius might lay in the menu’s unique items like bourbon cherry cobbler, pork belly burnt ends and tipsy campfire bread pudding, which blends traditional bread pudding with chocolate and toasted marshmallows.
“Our philosophy is simple-give people what they like to eat,” Zachary said.
In just over a year, Blu’s has been recognized as one of Dallas’ five best BBQ joints by The Dallas Observer.
Like every business, the restaurant has adapted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, closing its small dining room and opening a pick-up window, where customers retrieve orders placed in person, online or by phone after learning their orders are ready via text message.
Looking Toward Plano
Given Blu’s success, the time appears right to expand. Specifically, Zachary has his eyes on Plano, a spot which could open as soon as the end of this year near the Collin Creek Mall redevelopment.
“We’re looking at opening five more locations and one is in Plano,” he said. “We have a site that we’re working on. The lawyers are going back and forth to finalize the contract. It’s approximately 3,000 square feet and will have a fairly large kitchen. We’ll have a broader menu, a larger menu, because we’ll have a larger kitchen.”
Blu’s is currently hiring employees for its Plano location. Anyone interested can visit the website for contact information.
Whether its his current location or any new ones which open in the future, Zachary is confident that the concepts which have made the barbecue shop successful thus far will allow him to successfully expand his brand in DFW.
“Everything is made fresh,” he said. “My edict is simple. Find a need, find a niche and fill it.”Blu's BBQ >