The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club


It’s the Sunshine State by way of Gowanus at this pastel-streaked Floridian playground, where shuffleboard revivalists Jonathan Schnapp and Ashley Albert have retooled lido-deck kitsch for beer-fisted millennials. At the 17,000-square-foot game hall, neck-tattooed skaters and fly girls dressed like Miley Cyrus gather over $40-an-hour rounds of biscuit and tang (shufflespeak for pucks and poles), forming a scene that’s as flamboyantly Boca as it is staunchly Brooklyn.

ORDER THIS: Outfitted like Margaritaville-bound Jimmy Buffetts, bartenders serve sunny umbrella drinks inspired by alligator-belt shuffleboard greats, like the rum-and-grapefruit Christine Page Punch ($11). Better, though, is the bar’s beer list, offering a who’s who of craft suds (Smuttynose, Captain Lawrence, Left Hand). Balancing the booze, a rotating roster of food trucks (Morris Grilled Cheese, Phil’s Steaks) hawk utensil-free bites from a corner docking bay.

GOOD FOR: Both veteran shufflers and court virgins. The ten swimming-pool-blue lanes are regulation-size, and there’s league play for those who actually know their cherries (scoring in the ten-point box on the last shot) from their pepperonis (all four biscuits in scoring position). If you’re less skilled with a tang, the white-clad waitstaff is quick with tips (stay out of the “kitchen,” the negative-ten-point section), demonstrations (tang claws to the ceiling, stoppers down toward the floor) and ref calls when discs veer too close to the lines.

THE CLINCHER: What sets the club apart from similarly minded rec drinkeries—bocce den Union Hall, Skee-Ball haven Full Circle—is its slick treatment of Florida kitsch. Colorful flags rep shuffleboard towns like Daytona Beach, and the bathroom is selfie-ready with campy pink-flamingo wallpaper, but striped cabanas and gleaming courts add a welcome dose of polish. With bingo nights hosted by drag icons Linda Simpson and Murray Hill (Bowery Poetry Club, XL Nightclub) and bawdy shuffleboard-team names like Pootie Tang and Fussy Puckers on the scoreboard, this sure ain’t your granny’s hootenanny.—Christina Izzo

Venue name: The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
Address: 514 Union St
Cross street: between Nevins St and Third Ave
Opening hours: Mon–Wed 6pm–midnight; Thu, Fri 6pm–2am; Sat noon–2am; Sun noon–midnight
Transport: Subway: R to Union St
Price: Average cocktail: $10. AmEx, MC, V
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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For all game lovers of the world, expect to have the time of your life at Royal Palms. Five of us went on a Sunday around 5 pm and were immediately able to rent a lane ($40 for an hour, or you can ask and they will usually let you pay $20 for half an hour).

Let's just say I felt like I was at an awesome bar mitzvah. The disco ball was spinning, there was a stage with a band, and there were funny props to take photos with. The atmosphere was really great. So were the cocktails - the drink menu is extensive and really fun and tropical. A hot dog truck was also parked right next door for when you got hungry.

Of course, the best part was the shuffleboard. We arrived and soon had an instructor come over to teach us how to play. He was knowledgable, funny and laid back. We could have kept playing for hours! I am now thinking about joining a shuffleboard league there next year. Don't miss this place!