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The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Bars, Sports Bars Gowanus
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip WolakThe Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip WolakThe Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip WolakThe Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip WolakThe Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip WolakThe Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip WolakThe 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.

By: 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

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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Screw brunch (blasphemy!) and get your Sunday funday in here! Don’t worry you can still get boozy over buckets of beer and even my personal fave Downeast cider! Hangry? They also have rotating food trucks that pull right into a loading dock in the building. But wait there’s more, the main attraction, shuffleboard! This venue makes you feel like you are on vacation in a sunny cabana. Really you can spend the whole day here with your squad and even throw down an impromptu tournament of board games like Connect Four, Jenga, and Uno!


For this Florida native, this bar is a homecoming of sorts. If the actual Shuffleboard isn't enough, the flamingo wallpaper, Florida flags and Jai Alai cans really put it over the top. 

I went on a rainy summer Saturday for a friends birthday and had a ball playing connect four at our table and absolutely dominating the court. When we got hungry, the tex mex truck was a nice treat. 

Plus, when you're done there's plenty of other drinking holes in the area to continue your adventure. 


My office rented out the space for a work party and it was a blast. It has this bowling alley meets 50's Palm Beach resort vibe novelty enough to impress all ages (seriously, saw two elderly women playing shuffleboard here, killing it). The games don't end at shuffleboard, there is giant Jenga, board games, Cards Against Humanity, and more (apparently a Bingo night, as implied by the giant bingo board). This is definitely a great spot to host a party.

There is also a spot for food trucks to drive in, so the food changes out, which is pretty spectacular. I will say, I wasn't too impressed with their cocktails - they were all overly sweet.

Definitely a fun spot for drinking beer, hanging, and playing some games. 


I joined a league so my experience might be a little different. On Tuesday evenings, it seems like its only league people so its not too crowded and you have your own lane. The drinks are pretty good - my favorite is the Beth Allen! They have a food truck pull up to the side as food which provides options but for how large it is, to only have 1 foot truck is a little limiting. League members can come for free on Sundays (which will probably be a different experience) so I'm interested to come while the league is still on. Also I'm the worst at shuffleboard.

This place had so much potential...I live near by so I've tried to go there a handful of times.  Of the five times I went, I got to play shuffleboard once.   Every other time it is something insane like a three hour wait.  Then when you try to reserve a court, they ask you to pay a flat out extortionist fee to do so, so my friends have tried and bailed on that twice as well.  They do have other fun board games, etc to play while you wait and the food truck alley inside is a great idea, but they HAVE to do something about their court policies and fees.  


Stepping inside feels like you've just stepped onto a 1950s cruise ship - and I mean that in the best way possible.  Lounging in a deck chair with a delicious margarita and playing giant jenga with a group of friends is an awesome way to spend an afternoon, and I love that Royal Palms is the only place (as far as I know) that you can do that in NYC.  The experience would be a lot better if you could make reservations for a lane in advance - especially when the lanes are usually booked for party packages anyways - and if there was a better system for keeping track of customer credit cards. It does get bonus points, though, for being right next to Ample Hills!

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!