A NIGHT AT CHRISTNER'S: CLASS, TRADITION
By MARSHALL SWANSON
It's five o'clock in the afternoon and, similar to most nights for the past three decades, guests begin arriving in droves to the dimly lit, mahogany-walled corridors of Christner's Steakhouse. Pianist David Witte serenades diners with classic tunes from the Great American Songbook as friends, families and lovers sip on the finest cocktails and wines. An ambience of nostalgia and yesteryear meet the timeless quality of Christner's culinary experience, complete with succulent cuts of steak and the freshest and most delectable array of sea-food in the United States.
A favorite dining spot for Nautilus' Jim Flanagan, the restaurant boasts many prominent and well-known guests. Christner's attention to detail and classy atmosphere makes it a magnet for celebrities from all walks. On many nights, you'll spot professional athletes, political leaders and even Hollywood stars feasting on some of the tastiest dishes owner Dave Christner and his team offer on their menu.
The story of Christner's dates back to the 1970s and 1980s as Dale Wamstad founded the Del Frisco's franchise of restaurants. The original Del Frisco's arose in New Orleans until Wamstad sought out a new location in Dallas. Russ Christner, Dave's father, fostered a friendship with Wamstad, ultimately leading to the founding of a Del Frisco's (now Christner's) on Lee Road in 1993, albeit with a distinctive charm and character. Prior to the establishment of Del Frisco's, the site previously enjoyed a long history of restaurants including Tony Marino's, Bakerstreet Grill, and Morgan's Lobster House, but none beating the longevity and quality of Christner's. In the year 2000, the family expanded the restaurant when they purchased the neighboring building, formerly Staub's and Nick's Boathouse to add the signature central lobby and port-cochère.
Founder Russ Christner served as a constant fixture of the restaurant and always engaged in a hands-on approach to everything, from the kitchen to the dining rooms. His iconic blue apron epitomized his humility and passion for serving his customers. Though Russ sadly passed in 2005 following a battle with Melanoma, his memory lives on the hearts and souls of those he left behind. Today, David, his mother Carole and wife Alice carry on the legacy of Russ, in word and deed, renaming Del Frisco's as Christner's on June 2, 2013.
To commemorate the occasion of their rebranding, the Christner's held a "C-Party" to mark the special moment, complete with Champagne and Chocolate, Crab Cakes and Chardonnay, and Cheese and Craft beers. A facet of the restaurant that did not change? The superlative quality of the Christner's dining experience.
Though this unique moment in history necessitates a slight decline in the number of guests to ensure social distancing, the establishment remains a thriving epicenter for restaurant connoisseurs and anyone with a taste for the finer things in life.
Drop by Christner's today for a delightful evening filled with class, elegance and tradition.
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CHRISTNER'S OVER THE YEARS:
GALLERY: Christner's over the years.
VIDEO: The Christner's dining experience.
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