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A New Members-Only Club Heads to North Dallas Amid Protests From Its Soon-to-Be Neighbors

Residents are protesting the arrival of the members-only spot, which will host poker nights and other events in addition to serving fancy eats

The exterior of a building with a dome
The future home of Champions Club
Champions Club [Official Photo]

Champions Club, a new dining and entertainment destination for moneyed North Dallasites is officially headed to the space formerly occupied by longtime Dallas steakhouse Three Forks.

The club announced its impending arrival in a press release on Wednesday, not long after local news outlets began reporting the controversy surrounding Champions Club’s plans to take over the space at 17776 North Dallas Parkway in the coming months. The newcomer describes itself as a destination for “upscale dining and entertainment,” including events like magic shows, karaoke nights, and, most controversially, poker games.

According to NBC 5, members of the Bent Tree North Homeowners Association have picketed at the site of the new restaurant, and collected more than a thousand signatures on a petition in opposition to Champions Club, largely due to concerns about the club’s plans to operate around the clock, and a prior announcement from the club that it would host a $2 million poker tournament later this year. That tournament has since been postponed.

“As residents of the communities that will be directly and adversely impacted by these proposed poker rooms, we should have the right to decide whether a gambling operation opens so close to our family homes, schools, churches, businesses, and parks,” the petition reads. “We vehemently oppose the operation of any organized poker / gambling venues adjacent to our neighborhoods.”

Originally the club had plans to stay open around the clock, but a representative for Champions Club tells Eater that it “will not operate 24/7.” Managing partner Roy Choi also issued a statement in response to a request for comment, chalking the protests up to a massive misunderstanding about how the club will operate.

“Unfortunately, there has been some misinformation spreading throughout the community. We are not the underground poker clubs you hear about in the news and will operate under Texas law,” Choi’s statement reads. “Poker is only a small part of the Champions experience, as we are heavily focused on dining and our special events calendar. In fact, we do not condone underground poker games and illegal activities.”

Outside of the gambling-related controversy, Champions Club will also function as a full-service restaurant for its members. Executive chef Connie Trujillo will oversee the kitchen, serving a menu of “traditional steakhouse fare” with global influences, including pork tenderloin banh mi, grilled salmon with fire-roasted habanero sauce, and an “elevated grilled cheese” that’s made with cave-aged white cheddar. As far as the booze is concerned, expect an extensive list of whiskeys, tequilas, and scotch alongside cocktails and wine.

Champions Club has not yet announced its membership fees, but is currently plotting an early fall 2021 debut. Stay tuned for an official opening date.

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