YORKTOWN - Most workdays during lunch, Stephen Pokluda and some of his employees spend their breaks at 5D Steakhouse and Lounge playing poker on their phones surrounded by a rustic country atmosphere with a touch of elegance.
"It's like our bonding time," said Pokluda's employee Michael Torres, 31, of Yorktown. "Nobody's yelling at each other. We're just concentrating on the game and the food."
Pokluda, 50, owns Stephen Pokluda Construction and has eaten at the restaurant since it opened in February 2016. He said the restaurant gives him and his employees a way to escape in the middle of the workday and spend time together.
The steakhouse is owned by the Dlugosch family, who are natives to Yorktown. Pete and Patricia Dlugosch own the steakhouse as well as three other restaurant locations in Kenedy, Carrizo Springs and Monahans. The secondary locations are named 5D Grill and Lounge.
The name of the steakhouse represents the five Dlugosches in the family: Pete, 59; Patricia, 59; and their three children: Brianne, 29; Brian, 30; and Brandon, 32. Pete, Patricia and Brandon own the restaurants, but Brianne manages them.
Brianne looks to her parents often for advice on how to run the restaurants, she said.
"They've been in the business world a lot longer than I have," she said. "I know I can turn to them for the proper guidance. I couldn't do it without them."
In 2012, at the 30-year anniversary of opening their oilfield services business, D&B Oilfield Services, Pete and Patricia Dlugosch handed the management responsibilities of their restaurant, oil field, convenience store and cattle businesses over to their children.
"They showed interest in keeping the family businesses alive," Patricia Dlugosch said. "We told them they could venture out and do their own things, but they all wanted to stay in the family businesses."
The steakhouse is the family's second restaurant endeavor, as they previously owned the Texas Outpost in Yorktown. It was open from 2007 until 2013, when it burned down, Patricia Dlugosch said. The atmosphere at the steakhouse is more upscale than that of the prior restaurant, but the food is similar.
The steakhouse employs more than 50 people.
"My dad knew that we had a lot of experience in the bar and restaurant industry, and that's why he built it," Brianne Dlugosch said. "He also wanted to do another investment in the town so we could produce jobs for the local people."
Pokluda always orders the lunch special. The food and consistency of the steakhouse are what bring him back, he said.
"I don't know many places you can go and get your tea, entree and dessert for under $10," he said.
Torres usually joins Pokluda and other co-workers for lunch at the steakhouse.
"I know the family," Torres said. "I really like Brianne and the way she does things. Whenever you comment to her, she actually listens."
Torres agrees with Pokluda that the restaurant is consistent.
"We come here pretty much every day," he said.
Before the steakhouse opened, Yorktown lacked an entertainment venue and a place to relax, enjoy a drink and listen to music, Patricia Dlugosch said. The steakhouse has a full-service bar.
"We've opened that up where you don't have to travel," she said.
The steakhouse also serves as a place for Yorktown residents to gather at night and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the bar, Torres said. It is a place to come to get big-city concerts without all the people.
As the restaurant's events coordinator, Brianne Dlugosch brings in four to six Nashville artists a year.
Torres remembers seeing John Michael Montgomery, Martina McBride and Kevin Fowler at the steakhouse.
The steakhouse has live entertainment Thursday through Saturday nights. Brianne Dlugosch brings in local artists, DJs and comedians.
Pete Dlugosch designed the steakhouse and had a vision of an elegant venue with a country touch, his wife said.
"He'll look at something that is ugly and make it beautiful," she said. "He'll take an existing building and make it into something really nice or build from the ground up," she said.
The restaurant is about 20,000 square feet, has a lounge, three VIP rooms, conference room, a hardwood dance floor and a stage. The lounge and conference room share a wall that has a 50-foot white rock fireplace on each side.
Stephen Pokluda Construction employees modeled a barndominium they built after the steakhouse, Torres said.
Food from scratch
Tim Ruiz, 28, has worked for the Dlugosches as a cook for about seven months and applied for the job because he moved from Victoria to Yorktown. Ruiz said the work environment is like that of a family.
All food is made fresh and from scratch, Ruiz said.
"Everything you see, we made this morning," he said. "The steaks are cut here for us to serve here. There is never anything sitting in the fridge or the freezer."
"I've learned that fresh food is quality food," he added. "(Pre-frozen food) doesn't have the same flavor."
The steakhouse also has an in-house meat market that sells freshly cut steaks as well as fresh and dry sausage.
The family pride themselves on the quality of the steakhouse's customer service and real country food.
"We hand-cut every steak. We hand-grind every hamburger patty," Patricia Dlugosch said. "We hand-cut everything on our menu. Nothing is ever frozen. That's what we're known for."