Retired men sample local foods

Many know the tale of Romeo and Juliet, a classic Shakespearean tragedy of forbidden love and sacrifice. For the ROMEO’s of Northwest Tucson, the only tragedy is when the restaurant does not serve beer at lunchtime. 

Dave Glicksman of Del Webb’s Sunflower, a 55+ community in Continental Ranch, started the ROMEO group (Retired Old Men Eating Out) in 2001, hoping to provide a time of fellowship for the men of Sunflower. 

Glicksman and his wife moved to Sunflower in August of 1999. Once a month for two years, Glicksman sat at home and watched as his wife left for the Ladies Luncheon group. Tired of eating his cold cut sandwiches alone on those days, Dave asked himself, “Why don’t we start a group for the fellas?”

And so ROMEO was born in 2001 and the rules were established – separate checks and no dues. “As I say, there are no age, height or weight requirements,” Glicksman said. “The only things that are required are shoes and shirts!”

One of at least two other ROMEO groups in Pima county, anywhere from eight and 22 Sunflower ROMEO’s leave their Juliet’s one afternoon a month to embark on a No Passport Needed Epicurean Tour, visiting culinary wonders like China, Greece and Mexico all within the Tucson valley. 

The August meeting brought the men to France as they dined at Mimi’s Café. September brought them Asian Fusion at Miss Saigon. On Oct. 9, the group will get the taste of Japan at Yoshimatsu Japanese Eatery, 2660 N. Campbell at 11:45 a.m. 

In a surprise ending, Romeo is reunited with his Juliet at Del Webb’s Sunflower Community, happy to have befriended the people he would not have otherwise met and experienced cuisine he might not have otherwise tried.

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