A Little Slice of Florida, Interrupted

Since when is shuffleboard a game that threatens the community and brings the naysayers barking? Apparently, when it involves Gowanus, Brooklyn. The place being disputed is Royal Palms, a Florida-themed bar owned by Ashley Albert and Jonathan Schnapp, which has yet to open.

The original plan by the pair was to launch a space large enough for 500 revelers to play shuffleboard, drink, and be merry, but when they purposed their vision and applied for a liquor license, all hell broke loose. The Brooklyn Paper reported that neighbors began petitioning the opening and cited the owners’, “lack of experience running a large night life establishment,” as the reason. One resident told Brooklyn Paper that the presence of a huge club throws off the balance of the neighborhood and would overwhelm Gowanus.

It’s surprising people are up in arms about this. Already the area boosts a few venues like Littlefield, the Brooklyn Lyceum and the Bell House, and with all the space available in the neighborhood, you would think they would welcome a club that has games on a large scale. Yet, since they can’t get support from their community board and the neighbors, Schnapp and Albert have cut down the capacity to 300 and plan to add soundproofing before opening up in February.

In the mean time, there are still plenty of places in Brooklyn to get your game on. For example, the newly opened Greenwood Park and Union Hall, both have free bocce ball courts. You can play Skee-ball for free Tuesdays and Thursdays at Full Circle ($1 a game otherwise), and Barcade is the place to be for you old-school video game nerds. Finally, if you really want to get your Florida on, Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook has the right vibe and a whole mini-golf court too. 

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