By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Photo: Russ Bowen-Youngblood
Born out of the urge to reconnect in person again, Roger Rutkowski started The Atlanta Socializers Club as a space to reconnect safely. A little over a year later, the social event has gained significant momentum with plans to add more venues and different kinds of gatherings.
What was the idea behind Socializers Club, and how did you come up with it?
In 2021, as vaccinations were becoming more available, I felt there was a need for us to have a space to safely reconnect, so we reached out to Ten Atlanta and started monthly meetings on their patio. Mid 2021, after most of Midtown was vaccinated, we decided to move the group around to support local businesses and give members the opportunity to try new venues they may not otherwise go to.
The Atlanta Socializers Club has become a great success in a short time. What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We are heading to the Kimpton Shane Hotel on Thursday, November 17. Events usually take place on the last Thursday of the month except for November and December, when we move a week earlier. There are no events in January.
The club is not just for socializing, but it also gives back to the community. Who do you support?
The club supports Lost-N-Found Youth by raffling off prizes donated by members but mainly from our Media Sponsor Peach magazine.
So far, the Atlanta Socializers Club is a monthly occurrence – do you have plans to expand or perhaps do other types of events?
In 2023, I would like to add a dinner club element to the group, but this is obviously more challenging to run, so giving it some more consideration before committing. I would also like to formalize an engagement letter with the venues, where members can benefit more from drink specials and complimentary food.
What do you think sets the Socializers Club apart from other clubs?
One key thing that sets us apart from other groups is our diversity, especially in terms of age. I was keen to have a mix of people, and on average, we get members attending from 21 – 78 years old; everyone mixes well and seems to enjoy each other’s stories and life experiences.
How do we keep up to date on when and where?
The best way to keep track of events is to join the Atlanta Socializers Club on Facebook.