ROMEO Clubs (Retired Old Men Eating Out), have been around for several decades in the US and in several other countries. Tom Brokow in his 1998 book “The Greatest Generation” mentions ROMEO Clubs. Because of the nature of ROMEO Clubs, it is difficult to trace an accurate history or determine how many ROMEO Clubs might be in existence. In general, ROMEO Clubs are founded either spontaneously by word of the concept of retired old men eating out, or by someone attending a ROMEO Club meeting with friends and going from there. Most ROMEO Clubs do not have official rules, dues or any affiliation with a central organization. members love ROMEO Clubs because of this lack of formality, but frankly miss the male to male informal relationships that they had in their working life. They don’t miss work, but they miss the people with whom they worked. They see themselves as simply “retired old men eating out” without an agenda or rules, and having a ball, based on the 3 F’s Food-Friendship-Fun without any BS.
A club in Arizona made an attempt to offer some central linkage to various clubs. They did find more than 100 clubs. They owned romeoclub.com which was put up for sale. That domain was bought by members of a ROMEO Club in Branford, Ct. They are looking at how within the only rule being no rules, they could be of service to other clubs by sharing what works for ROMEO meetings and how to enhance them, and providing a broader forum on answers to questions that befuddle the retired, like “what is Instagram®, and how do I post a picture of my grandkids or of the ROMEO Club lunch. They are also hopeful that they could learn where other ROMEO Clubs are located around the country, and do they accept drop-ins who are passing through on the annual snow bird trip? And whatever!