The Country Club's first It's Just Dinner drew a friendly crowd of people.
Last Saturday night, with a pouring rain outside and a crackling fire inside, 15 people gathered at the Country Club’s 19th Hole. The gathering was casual and low-key, and judging by the easy chatter you wouldn’t have guessed most of the people were meeting for the first time. The gathering’s name: It’s Just Dinner.
The Country Club’s idea is to offer a monthly dinner for singles.
“We’re getting all kinds of people telling us, ‘It’s hard to come to the club, because we feel like the fifth wheel,'" said Ron Svien, the club's general manager. "Maybe someone’s lost a spouse or something like that.”
“I know very few single people,” said Rose Geerts, preparing to take a seat with the group. In Murieta for only 18 months, Geerts said she’s often part of a dinner fivesome. “It will be kind of nice to just meet some other people,” she said.
Chuck Gillem, who lost his wife of 62 years last October, said it felt a little strange, but he was there. “I gotta meet people,” he said. “I’m not one to sit home and talk to the television.”
Svien gave all credit for the gathering to Barbara Saks, the club’s membership director.
“In the past five years, I’ve had many people come into my office and comment to me that they don’t come here to eat because they don’t like to dine alone,” said Saks. “So, I just thought there’s so many of them, why not have a group dinner?”
Saks said the club plans to have It’s Just Dinner every second Saturday, open to members and their guests. They’ll try to get a few more men involved. (Saturday’s dinner had six men and nine women.)
On each table were cards with ice-breaker questions, designed to get conversations started. Given the group's instant chatter, they didn’t seem to be needed.