The $2 million it takes to open a shuffleboard court/bar in Gowanus was raised in $50,000 increments on Kickstarter. Owners and friends Ashely Albert and Jonathan Schnapp considered Greenpoint too, but they fell in love with the 17,000-sqauare-foot space at 514 Union Street. And while they didn't hit their original open date in April last year, Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club is a few days from opening to the public.
The rules are easy. You'll catch on after a game or two. Just make sure you learn the lingo. You don't want your biscuit to end up in the kitchen. Avoid double soup at all times. Be careful with the hammer and don't drink the tang. Biscuits are the pucks you slide across the shuffleboard. The kitchen is the "10 OFF" zone at the base of the triangle. Land a biscuit there and it's minus 10 points. Double soup is when you end a round with two biscuits in the kitchen. The hammer is the last biscuit in each round and the tang is the stick you slide with. Any game with food-centric lingo is a winner in our eyes.
Royal Palms started a Monday night league that sold out so fast Albert and Schnapp set one up for Tuesdays as well. That means for $450 a team of four gets a 10-week run with two playoff bouts to be the best biscuit pushers in Brooklyn. Albert and Schnapp are nationally ranked competitors, by the way. Albert's 68th among females and Schnapp 82nd among men. Local winners of the winter and spring leagues will join them on the next international shuffleboard championship in Ontario this year. But that's just one reason to spend time at Royal Palms when it opens.
Draft beers are available in Ball jars from the likes of Firestone, Narragansett, Victory, and Lagunitas and food will be served from a rotating roster of food trucks. The trucks will be parked outside the venue against a gate that opens to shufflers inside. Red Hook Lobster Pound was there last night.
League play aside, RPSC charges $40/hour for games on any of the 10 standard, 39-foot courts. We got to play in last night's league and took a bunch of pictures. Already itching to go back. We'll see you there.