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Power Tables, Annotated

A look at where, and why, the elite meet to eat at Bob’s.
By Nancy Nichols |
photography by Elizabeth Lavin

Around 6 pm Sunday, November 19, Bob Sambol received a call informing him that his restaurant, Bob’s Steak & Chop House on Lemmon Avenue, was on fire. The electrical blaze, triggered by a faulty junction box in the ceiling, was contained to the bar area. But within hours, word spread all over town. Regular customers were concerned about Sambol, but in Dallas’ world of business, sports, and high society, diners worried even more about their next fix of filet. In less than two weeks, the half-million dollars in damage was repaired, and the luminaries returned to their posts—posts about which they are very particular. Where you sit at Bob’s says a lot about who you are. Here’s a look at the power tables, same post-fire as they were pre-, and the people who populate them.

Hot Seats

The Bar
The See-Me-Touch-Me-Feel-Me group comprises superstar athletes and their owners and those owners’ sons—guys like Mike Modano, Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, and Tom Hicks Jr. They love the round tables, especially showcase table 93, front and center, where they can see everyone at the bar and be seen by all who walk through the door. Popular with the ladies are booths 1 through 6, the ones that line the wall across from the rounds. The cross-pollination between the groups clogs the aisle on a regular basis.

The Main and Charley’s Dining Rooms

Favorite spot for the See-Me-But-Don’t-Talk-To-Me crowd. That would be Tom Hicks, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and other older, classier power players who have tired of the limelight but don’t want to lose sight of the young revelers in the bar or the power brokers making their way to the secluded Dome Room. The best tables are 83 and 43.

The Dome Room
This is home to the Watch-Me-Nod-To-Me-See-You-Later crowd. You think T. Boone Pickens, Gerald Ford, and Barry Andrews want you hanging around while they conduct business over a great Cabernet (Coors Light for Andrews) and a filet? Of course not. That’s why there’s the Dome Room. It even has its own private exit.