Nightlife alive and well in Sun Cities

Wine and cheese bar at Fry's Grocery in Sun City West. Some residents say this is a good social gathering spot.

By Roger Ball & Steve Stockmar
Independent Newsmedia

Residents in the Sun Cities said they keep active to stay young, and that includes an energetic social life—sometimes at night.In addition to the more than 100 chartered clubs in the community, there are some interesting places where resident can mingle and hangout.

“The best place for people to mingle is Fry’s bar,” Anne Baumhover, Sun City West resident, said.Ms. Baumhover was referring to an area inside the Fry’s Grocery at 19403 R. H. Johnson Blvd. where wine, beer and snacks are served.

Pam Giannonatti, Fry’s Division Corporate Affairs Manager in Arizona, said when the Sun City West store was built in 2014, the wine bar was a regular department for their larger stores. Kroger’s first wine bar in Arizona was built in the store at Tatum and Shea in Phoenix in 2010, and there are currently 12 wine bars in the state.They are very popular and continue to be a regular department for new larger stores that have the available square footage,” Ms. Giannonatti said.She added there are no current plans to add more space to the existing Sun City West wine bar.

Marge Spencer, Sun City West resident, said the swimming pool at the R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R. H. Johnson Blvd., is another place to be social in the evening. “It’s especially nice when they show the night movies,” Ms. Spencer said.

Not everyone, though, goes out at night.Mike Lukachie, Property Owners and Residents Association of Sun City West membership manager at the, said he doesn’t go anywhere.But there are very active seniors at nighttime in the area.Like any good spot for nightlife, the bar at The Speakeasy in Sun City, 10745 Grand Ave., Suite 7, has a full load of spirits on hand. Beer, wine, well drinks, cocktails.

The Sun City patrons do seem to have a favorite, though.“Jell-O shots,” Sam Denny, a regular bartender at The Speakeasy, said Aug. 6. “Very surprising. I guess I can kind of see that because they like Jell-O.”Funny stereotypes are easy when sizing up nightlife in Sun City, dubbed the “first active adult retirement community” in the U.S. by originator Del Webb. Sun City, which opened Jan. 1, 1960, turns 60 itself in a few months.

Residents must be 55-years-old to live in Sun City, and the community has plenty of retirement amenities for its 37,000-plus population. Around every turn are special-interest clubs, volunteer opportunities, recreation centers, legion halls and golf courses.

More on this story can be found in the Aug. 21 edition of the Sun City West Independent.

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