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Bingo? Pass. Bring on Senior Speed-Dating and Wine-Tasting.

NOTHING about Mather’s-More Than a Cafe looks as if it’s aimed at people over 50. But the Chicago cafe, which could easily be mistaken for a large Starbucks, is much more than that, serving as a community hub, mostly for older people, with dozens of classes on topics like flower arranging, Egyptian history and digital safety.

In her six years as a member, Pat Knazze, 66, has taken line dancing and piano lessons and participated in over 50 seminars via Skype, including architecture classes that helped her qualify as a neighborhood docent.

As she ages, Ms. Knazze has also found another expected benefit: a caring group of neighbors who serve as a kind of substitute family.

“We’re social beings,” said Ms. Knazze, who is divorced. “And the cafe is a kind and loving group. I have multiple families that nurture me.” The Mather’s Cafe manager even attended Ms. Knazze’s mother’s funeral.

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