by Tim Grigsby
The way it was explained to me is that a long time ago the people working at Dallas 24 Hour Club created a monthly Steak Night and invited all the local 12-Step groups to come down and visit The Club while eating a reasonably priced steak dinner. The idea was to help get outside mentors and sponsors for the men and women staying in the club. This tradition continues today on the first Saturday of every month, from 5 to 10pm. Somewhere along the line a live band was added for entertainment, usually the Rockin Robert’s T Band. Rockin Robert is an alumni of the program and can be seen most Steak Nights with his band on the back porch, jamming out and playing music. At the old Club, Robert and the band would set up in the front yard, crank the volume up, and wait for the police to come for noise complaints. We used to say that if the police aren’t summoned, then it wasn’t really a Steak Night. The other purpose of Steak Night is to have a fun event each month for the residents to attend, listen to music, and meet outside people in recovery.
In April of 2012, Steak Night was revived after not having it for a while, that night I was laying in my bed upstairs depressed and in self-pity. I could hear the band playing although I did not want to see or talk to anyone. Another resident suggested I get out of bed, eat a steak, listen to music, and be a part of the fellowship instead of isolating. I took his suggestion and went downstairs. I cannot describe how good it felt to take action, talk to people and be a part of the fellowship. That night was a turning point for me and instead of lying in bed reading a book at night, I started to hang out downstairs in the common areas and try to help the next man seeking help. I also met a bunch of good people that night who are still my good friends today.
My favorite memory of Steak Night was the day we burned the mortgage for 4636 Ross Avenue. An anonymous donor had paid off the entire note for the property to the tune of over $300,000. There were more people that night than I have ever seen at The Club and the atmosphere was infectious. Everyone was so happy because it appeared we were not going to have to close the doors, and could begin to think renovation or a new building in the future. The 112 Steak Dinners sold that night is still the modern day record, I even had to run to the grocery store to buy some during the event.
Tim Grigsby is Chief Operating Officer for Dallas 24 Hour Club.