By: Jen Russon
As realtors say, it’s “location, location, location!” but for city commissioner and realtor Joy Carter, the word is taken to literal extremes in the venues she reserves for GNO — also known as Girls Night Out.
After a small turnout on the Zoom version of the Coral Springs tradition, Carter said she was delighted to greet around 16 ladies at the May gathering at Casa Tequila.
Carter said this was actually GNO’s second meetup because last month, they could sit outside at the Coconut Creek Promenade.
Carter has been the main host of the girls-only event since 2003 and intends to keep going strong, so women have the opportunity to “just be girls,” with no sales or meeting objectives.
“There have been so many wonderful women that I’ve met doing GNO. Many admit feeling awkward at first because they didn’t know anyone. Yet by the time they leave, it’s with many new friends,” said a beaming Carter.
She added she reserves spots at eight different restaurants a year, January through October. The next month, she scrubs her distribution list, letting up to 85 social butterflies opt back in.
GNO meets on either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night.
“I let the restaurants pick their slowest night,” said Carter, sometimes joking, at the last minute, she has to switch up plans.
Case in point, Casa Tequila was not the original pick for May’s gathering.
The Crusty Crab, also located in the Shops at Magnolia, was; however, they didn’t have a liquor license yet, so she swapped crab cakes for chimichangas and said she’s looking forward to trying Crusty Crab soon.
At Casa Tequila, located at 9617 Westview Drive, the women on Carter’s GNO email list began trickling in for margaritas and enjoying the bar a good hour before heading to the dining area, where one of the girls treated friends to guacamole, prepared table-side.
“We’re all on separate checks. It’s come if you can, and don’t sweat it if you can’t. I provide the opportunity and location,” said Carter.
She added those who choose to cancel should let her know first, so she’s not left holding a seat.
Nicknamed ‘the madame’ by the longest-running attendees of GNO, Carter said the idea to have a fun night out without their spouses or children was inspired by a group of six men in Coral Springs. They all dined out together, inspiring their wives to form their own dinner group, including Carter.
“I argued that I wasn’t married but was included because I was FUN,” she said, emphasizing the last word.
An original member, Judi Hedge, said GNO leaves her feeling refreshed.
“I love GNO, and the way Joy brings us together monthly for a grown-up girl playdate,” said Hedge.
Interested in joining the next GNO scheduled for late June? Send Carter at Joy@GreatFloridaHomes.com
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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