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Table full of R.O.M.E.O.s: men's social club gains popularity

Created date

January 25th, 2010

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? It s a good question. And if you re at a local Denver restaurant, keep an eye out you may just find a raucous bunch of Romeos nearby. Retired Old Men Eating Out, that is. The social club, known as R.O.M.E.O., was created by a group of Wind Crest neighbors more than two years ago, and the only goal is to eat, drink, and be merry. This club is a chance for us old fogies to get out, socialize a little bit, and enjoy a nice lunch at a new restaurant, Dick Coan explains. Of course, whatever restaurant we choose, we make sure we give them proper notification that we ll be coming, he says with a chuckle. So they can get ready for all the bedlam.

Born for the boys

Herb Schaffer, one of the original members, says, It just started out as a bunch of guys who wanted to get together and be unencumbered by the opposite sex, if you know what I mean. A lot of us have wives so these meetings are extremely casual. A chance for us to wear whatever we want. Heck, we don t even have to wear socks if we don t want to, Schaffer says with a laugh. But really, we don t dress too funny; we just eat and talk about guy things. We wanted a group that could compete with the Red Hat Society, says Bill Kamsler, referring to the all-female social group known for donning red hats and purple dresses. Why should women get to have all the fun? We exchange war stories and have a good time, Coan, a retired Air Force officer, says. It s nice to get out, just with the men, for a change. According to Schaffer, the group s all about good-natured fun. We re not telling dirty jokes or anything. But we talk about everything from politics to the weather to sports, he says. At most meetings, you ll generally have three or four conversations going on at once. Schaffer says the club welcomes new members with open arms. We are always trying to recruit new guys and new residents, he says. If anyone is interested in coming out, they are always welcome to join us. But, Schaffer warns, don t try and change the goal of guy-centered fun. Since the club has been meeting, there have been a few attempts to change the group a little bit, he explains. There was even a suggestion to let the wives attend. But we just couldn t let that happen. If it did, we wouldn t be the R.O.M.E.O.s.

First priority: food

The group meets on the third Friday of each month and holds its meetings at a different restaurant each time. The restaurant definitely dictates how well each meeting is attended. Because the only thing we really all have in common is the love of food, Schaffer explains. Most meetings draw an average of ten R.O.M.E.O.s to the table. Since it started more than two years ago, the group has tried everything except sushi. We haven t gone that crazy, says Kamsler, who joined the group as soon as he moved toWind Crestin winter 2009. But we have been doing a lot of seafood lately. Kamsler reflects, I look forward to that third Friday of every month. It s fun to get out, try some different food, and see what s going on with the guys.

R.O.M.E.O. recommended

Members ofWind Crest sRetired Old Men Eating Out club (R.O.M.E.O.) suggest the following local restaurants for a winning combination of delicious food and fun atmosphere: Cherry Crest Seafood Restaurant and Market 5909 South University Boulevard Greenwood Village, CO 80121 (303) 798-2600 Saj Mediterranean Grill The Streets at SouthGlenn 6955 S. York St. #423 Centennial, CO 80122 (303) 797-8000 Wild Basil Thai Restaurant 8247 S. Holly St Centennial, CO 80122 (303) 779-8889