Pflugerville eatery remains community staple
Baris (pronounced bar-s) Pizza & Pasta in Pflugerville is a restaurant borne of the fruits of family connections. So it is perhaps not surprising that the eatery has become a popular location for local families to gather.
When Baris co-owners Tony and Cheryl Bardhi relocated to Texas from New York City in 1997, the couple also left behind their respective careers in construction and hair care. Tony says the couple was looking for a new environment in which to raise their two children.
“We had a good life in New York, we had a couple of good businesses,” Tony said. “We were just looking for better schools and an area with a slower place.”
The Bardhi family eventually decided to settle in Pflugerville in order to be closer to Cheryl’s sister and her family. Instead of attempting to duplicate their former professions, however, Tony and Cheryl elected to make a go of the restaurant business. Although the couple had never owned a restaurant of their own, they were both experienced business owners, and Tony had numerous family members in the restaurant industry.
“My family has been in the restaurant business all of their lives,” Tony said. “We grew up in this because my parents were in the restaurant business. Restaurants are in our genes, I guess.”
With the guidance of Tony’s uncle, Imeri Bardhi—who opened the original Baris outside of Dallas in 1987—Baris Pizza & Pasta opened for business in Pflugerville in 1997. The Baris brand has since expanded to locations in Waco and Tallahassee, Fla., all owned and operated by members of the Bardhi family.
In Pflugerville, Baris Pizza & Pasta has grown to become a part of the city’s social fabric. According to Manager Annalyss Brennan, the restaurant’s regulars include city staff, Pfugerville ISD employees and a regular crowd of high school students who spill in after games.
“I remember after football games, Baris was always the place to go,” said Brennan, who is a Pflugerville native. She said many former students who grew up in Pflugerville enjoy coming back to the restaurant to reminisce.
“We know a lot of their orders by heart,” Brennan said. “[Baris] is known for great food, great service and great prices.”
Brennan said the pizza offered at Baris is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. She said the taste and style is intended to replicate East Coast pizza.
Baris also offers a wide selection of pasta dishes, along with lunch and dinner specials. Among the restaurant’s most popular dishes are the chicken fettuccine alfredo ($9.95), and the Chicken Murphy ($9.95), which comes with a creamy pink sauce with mushrooms and pepperoncinis served over spaghetti.
Brennan said the restaurant prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients.
“We don’t even have a microwave [at Baris],” she said. “That is how fresh everything is.”
1501 W. Pecan St., 512-989-8900, www.barispizzaandpasta.com
- Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.