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Copyright 2014 The Arizona Daily Star

Odessa, Texas, can have its Friday night lights.

We've got Friday night barbecues -- at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club.

This longtime, local tradition at the midtown club dates back about 20 years, says Adrian Korosec, assistant general manager.

"The emphasis is on family fun, that's what we try to promote here," Korosec says.

From March through October, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. the club opens to members and nonmembers alike for the special event. The pool's open as are the basketball and sand volleyball courts. Kids play on the grass, shooting water guns, while parents can spread out a blanket and enjoy, ahem, a beer or margarita along with live music.

Every Friday, maintenance workers truck out to owner and general manager Bill Selby's place to collect the mesquite that'll fire up the massive grill, which turns out all kinds of eats -- everything from salmon and ribeyes to veggie burgers for $6-$10.

Club member Monisha Banerjee's husband, Craig Green, jokes that the barbecues are just like home -- only with better food and music and nicer people.

The family rarely misses the Friday night 'cue. Four-year-old Anjali Green loves to boogie to the music while brother Gavin, 6, hangs with his buddies.

"It's such an amazing, family-oriented place," Banerjee says.

There's just one little hitch.

"The only down side," she says, "is that it can be a struggle to get the kids to leave at the end of the night because they have so much fun."

Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club Friday Night Barbecues

What: Live music, open club grounds (pool, volleyball and basketball courts) and food.

Where: 4001 N. Country Club Road

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays through Oct. 10.

How much: Members get in free; non-members pay $4; $2 for 13-17 year olds and those 12 and under are free.

July 27, 2014
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