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Bob is Back! The founder of Bob’s Steak and Chop House buys back his original Dallas steakhouse!


Bob Sambol, the founder of Bob’s Steak and Chop House, has bought back his original Lemmon Ave. steakhouse and plans to welcome guests to his 250-seat restaurant on March 1. Sambol confirmed the news to EscapeHatch with excitement.

Sambol founded the Bob’s Steak and Chop House at that location on July 19, 1993, replacing the original Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse when it moved to a larger space at 5251 Spring Valley Ave.; that space is now another great Dallas steakhouse, Al Biernat’s.

“I’m taking back control of the Bob’s on Lemmon, and I’m going to make it great again. Dallas loves a good steakhouse.”

In USA Today last year, I wrote that Dallas as the best steakhouse city in America. Sambol agreed:

“You go to New York to eat Italian and you come to Dallas to eat steak,” he says. “Everything important gets commemorated with a steak dinner. No one says, ‘let’s go celebrate with chicken.’”

Sambol’s longtime partner in the Bob’s empire acquired the chain 8 years ago. Since then, Bob’s has grown to 16 locations and is owned in part by Omni Hotels. For the past few years, Sambol has led operations of Trinity Groves, the 18-restaurant complex west of downtown Dallas. His last day with Trinity Groves will be February 28. He’ll welcome guests to his Bob’s the following day, March 1.

“After an incredible experience with Phil Romano and his Trinity Groves project, I want to go back to running a steakhouse,” Sambol told me. “I know I can offer something that a lot of restaurants don’t have: incredible hospitality. I know how to run the front of the house and improve this brand.

“A lot of people have good food, but no one has Bob Sambol at the door. Customers crave good food but they also want great hospitality. I’m going to give them both.”

Sambol says he’ll continue to offer the same core Bob’s Steak and Chop House menu offered throughout the chain, including the spiced carrot that’s delighted loyal customers — and been the butt of jokes — for nearly three decades. The steaks won’t change either, Sambol says: prime strips and rib-eyes from Chicago’s Stock Yards.

“The menu is timeless,” Sambol said, adding that he’ll offer plenty of special features to give the menu a unique spin.

“I looked at doing my own (with a new name), but this location has always meant a lot to me,” he told me, “but it needs a makeover.” He plans to update the decor with new carpet, chairs and lighting,and add a new sound system.

I used to frequent the Lemmon Ave. Bob’s for many years while Sambol was in charge. Every night of the week, the bar and dining room were filled with politicians, CEOs, business elites, Dallas Stars, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavs, other famous athletes and runway models. Bob’s was the place to be.

Bob’s was where I learned to appreciate prime beef and the thrill of dining in a busy restaurant where hospitality flowed naturally and guests were expected to be friendly and engage with other guests regardless of social or economic status. Boone Pickens. like every other billionaire who walked into Bob’s, sat at the bar wherever there was an empty space and said “hello” to the people around him.

Sambol says he’ll welcome guests at his Bob’s restaurant every night, six days a week, beginning March 1. (The restaurant will remain closed on Sundays.)

I’m pretty sure a reservation here will be the hardest table in town to snag, so put this on your speed dial now: (214) 528-9446.

photos: Bob Sambol and Bob’s Steak and Chop House facebook

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