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Rachel Ayotte

Shark Club Aims for a New Kind of Sports Bar

When picking a place to watch the big game, it’s hard to find a sports bar in Dallas that has quality food and isn’t insufferably crowded. Plano’s newest addition, Shark Club, is seeking to break that stereotype with an elevated sports bar in an upscale atmosphere.

Connected to the Sandman Hotel, Shark Club, along with the hotel, is owned by Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi. Dallas Stars fans will find a holy space at Shark Club, which opens Friday, Aug. 2.

The place boasts a capacity of more than 400, with booths decked out in the signature Stars victory green. Guests can watch a sporting event of their choosing on any of the bar’s 40-plus HD televisions.

“We’re looking forward to bringing Dallas something that they’ve never seen,” says Steve Tokos, director of operations at Shark Club. “I think that what we have to offer is the next-best thing to being at the game. We’re delivering an experience of entertainment and sports to a level that hasn’t been seen in Texas.”

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Could there be more screens on this wall?
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In addition to the multiple TV sets, the bar area has two immersive media walls, which are essentially 20-foot TV screens that will air sports programming at all times. Above the media walls is a live ticker, which will show real-time updates on scores. During some major sporting events, Shark Club will not play audio from commercials.

“We’ll have a DJ that controls the sound and creates the energy in the room,” Tokos says, “so that you’re always watching the game. As soon as it goes to commercial, the DJ will come on and make sure the music is being played. It creates an energy that never stops. What you see at a game is music, energy, fireworks and fun. That’s what you will experience here when you are watching a major game.”

At the bar, guests can enjoy a variety of signature cocktails, including the electric Arnold, a frozen cocktail made with Deep Eddy tea and lemon vodkas ($10). Another good choice is the Southern belle, made with New Amsterdam gin, St. Germain, fresh lemon and rosé prosecco ($10). Shark Club will have 22 beers on tap, half of them locally brewed, as well as the Old-Fashioned ($12) and the Moscow mules ($11) on tap.

Shark Club’s food options are leveled-up traditional American and Canadian bar food items, including poutine ($9.50), beef sliders ($10) and the keg of nachos ($17). The keg of nachos is half a pound of cheese, housemade salsa, guacamole, sour cream and queso fresco, and they can be ordered with pulled chicken or spicy beef.

“We wanted to make sure this was big, because everything in Texas is big, so we wanted to be the biggest,” Tokos says. “People don’t always come to sports bars for the food, they come for the drinks and the sports, but when they try our food, they’ll know it’s world-class. I think that stands out.”

In addition to killer cocktails and hearty bar food items, Shark Club also has a game room, where guests can play shuffleboard, skee ball and foosball. In the game room, there is also a live scoreboard, which shows the real-time score of the Dallas Stars game taking place on that day.

Although Shark Club is mostly themed around the Dallas Stars, the new sports bar will embrace a multitude of Texas sports. For six of the Dallas Cowboys' away games, 105.3 The Fan will be broadcasting live from Shark Club.

“It’s almost like a tailgate party and getting to watch the game at the same time,” Tokos says. “If Texas is looking to receive world-class hospitality, which Texas is known for, we’ve definitely brought it from Canada. Canadians are known for hospitality and being super, super awesomely friendly. You’re going to get that here.”

Shark Club, 8451 Parkwood Blvd., Plano

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