Several years ago the Joint Operations Committee (JOC) granted exclusive use of the party room for a drop-in coffee time. A machine for hot drinks was installed at the bar, some notices were placed on the bulletin boards, and Bistro began running from 2 to 4 on weekday afternoons. Residents could show up, sip a $2 coffee, tea or hot chocolate and share chat with neighbours. Part of the $2 went to support the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Missing these afternoon breaks during COVID-19 lock-down, some regulars attempted to touch base on Zoom and then through outdoor “happy hour” meetups on the upper deck on Fridays. Eventually the Bistro was able to reopen in the party room but the Friday happy hours continued. And when the weather wasn’t conducive to gathering outdoors people started meeting inside on Friday afternoons.
It happened that the party room was free last New Year’s eve and the word was passed among Bistro regulars to meet there for an impromtu potluck cocktail party in the early evening. Again this year the party room was available and a few energetic residents came early set up the room for New Year festivities. Residents shared snacks and drink, and offered each other New Year wishes.
In 2023 the Bistro has run every weekday with the help of volunteers. It sent $2800 to the Food Bank in 2023 (which included a generous donation from the evening card players). Though some residents have moved away or passed on, new residents come to meet their neighbours and make friends. Everyone is welcome. See you in 2024!