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Introducing the Cul-de-sac Cocktail Convention

Chesterfield residents Joanne and Jim Bach feel fortunate to live in a close-knit community that values relationships.

Residents in their block of the Claymont Estates subdivision have been a tight group for a number of years. And even with all the negatives that 2020 and COVID-19 have brought, that has not changed.

For the past several years, a group of neighbors – often as many as 14 or more – would gather for “Cook Free Fridays” at a selected local restaurant. It was a time to catch up, swap stories and generally enjoy each other’s company while lingering over a good meal. But with restaurants closing early in the pandemic and social distancing in place, the neighbors needed to find a new way to connect.

Introducing the Cul-de-sac Cocktail Convention (CCC).

Armed with lawn chairs and beverages, the neighbors have been regularly convening on Friday nights for a cocktail hour, cul-de-sac style.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the Bachs bring a thermos of their favorite beverage and visit with other neighbors for an hour or two. In the interest of safety, no food or drinks are shared and social distancing is encouraged but left up to each individual’s comfort level.

Neighbors in Chesterfield's Claymont Estates gather for the Cul-de-sac Cocktail Convention.
Neighbors in Chesterfield’s Claymont Estates gather for the Cul-de-sac Cocktail Convention. (Source: Joanne Bach)

“It’s become something we look forward to and a big social event,” explained Joanne. “It is amazing how many different subjects are covered and usually politics stays out of the mix!”

The weekly CCC socials are not the only ones the Claymont Estates neighbors enjoy. Pre-COVID, the neighborhood also has hosted a Ladies Bunco group, movie nights, twice-yearly BBQ cookouts and neighborhood house parties. This is a group that likes to socialize.

Quickly approaching is Halloween, another group event. The neighbors gather together to pass out candy and meet even more families and couples who might like to join in their year-round fun.

Joanne says you never know who might pop up at the Friday CCC, or how they might arrive. You might note a neighbor arriving on a riding lawn mower or young families popping in to say “hello,” she said. If the residents are really lucky Hank will come by, accompanied by his mom and dad.

“(Hank) is the sweetest dog that loves to come up to each and every one of us!” Joanne exclaimed.  

Clearly, Hank’s not afraid to cross the line when it comes to social distancing – but no one seems to mind.

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