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Shuffleboard scuffle: Neighbors fear Florida-inspired club will bring crowds, noise

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A soon-to-open shuffleboard bar will bring the old folks’ game back to Brooklyn — but neighbors of the sprawling Gowanus venue fear the kitschy sport will come hand in hand with loud parties and inebriated revelers.

The owners behind the planned watering hole the Royal Palms hope to open a grocery-store sized venue featuring regulation-length courts, a full bar, and live music on Union Street near Third Avenue early next year.

But some residents are already fighting the proposal, saying the too-big space will turn the quiet block into booze-soaked hub for loud hipster game players that is anything but grandparent-approved.

“This is a nice quiet neighborhood [but] you’re gonna bring a lot of drunk people around here,” said neighbor Joe Padilla. “When business starts blowing up, it’s gonna get real dirty.”

Other residents posted fliers featuring an image of a crossed-out martini glass in protest of the venue, an action first reported by the blog Brownstoner.

The duo behind the Royal Palms say the size and crowd-drawing potential for the club is less daunting than neighbors think, considering how much room is dedicated to lanes for the game.

More than half of the 17,000-square-foot space is reserved for shuffleboard courts, said co-owner Ashley Albert.

“It’s not going to be a big scary club,” Albert said.

Albert first announced she and a partner would re-purpose the Gowanus building to make a Florida-inspired bar with lounge music, bingo, and episodes of “The Love Boat” on TV in May.

She says she has met with neighbors to discuss concerns and hopes to open the club by February.

“It was just a small group of people who didn’t understand how important it is to us to be good neighbors,” she said.

— with Alfred Ng

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

Updated 11:20 am, July 23, 2012: Updated to clarify a quote.
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Reader Feedback

Mike from Williamsburg says:
So you can't open a bar where a lot of people live because it will disturb too many people, but you also can't open a bar where almost no one lives because the 2 people that live there like how quiet living in a Superfund cesspool is.
July 23, 2012, 8:18 am
bruce from midwood says:
If I remember correctly that corner has a long history of being a bar I think it was a hangout for iron workers many years ago.Then more recently it was a country western place.Either way if you live on Atlantic avenue you should expect some noise. There is a bocci bar a few blocks down from third closer to Court St. Nobody seems to have any problems there. The crowd is well behaved.
July 23, 2012, 8:32 am
aymbereye from Gowanus says:
Mike- you definitely are from Williamsburg, since you clearly have no idea who lives in this area (a lot more than '2 people'. and Bruce- it's been empty for over 10 years, and a warehouse before that. THis place is NOWHERE near Atlantic Avenue.
July 23, 2012, 9:56 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Country & Western bar? Hell no!!! I'd rather have the hipster place instead of Country & Western. Now that is some bad music!
July 23, 2012, 10:43 am
Meyer from Gowanus says:
I'd say neighbors are right to be concerned. Even if half of 17,000 sq ft is used for the shuffleboard courts, that still leaves 8,500 for the bar. That's a HUGE bar! Plus from what I hear its not just "a small group of people who don't understand" (as the owner claims). Its residents of Union, Sackett, President and even Carroll street, and they understand very well: its going to be a loud, rowdy drinking venue that they do not want in the midst of what is the heart of the residential district of Gowanus.
July 23, 2012, 10:48 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Bring it on....we need something to bring the hookers back to third avenue. Its down the street(about a 1/4 of a mile) from whole foods and about a 1/2 mile from Atlantic Avenue....will they allow people to park there from the Arena?
July 23, 2012, 11:01 am
WalMart shopper from Aisle 54 says:
17,000 square feet is kinda small for a grocery.
July 23, 2012, 11:58 am
Cousin Brucie from WCBS-FM says:
Bruce, what are you talking about? The bar you are thinking about is Hank’s on Atlantic & 3rd. This place is supposedly going to be on Union Street & 3rd Avenue.
July 23, 2012, 12:14 pm
Anon from Nearby says:
Someone should do a follow-up story on Greenwood Park (the 10,000 foot beer garden next to 3 schools) - there is no parking, its dirty, smelly, loud, and just plain invasive.
July 23, 2012, 10:59 pm
lisa from gowanus says:
Really? I think the Greenwood Park beer garden is the most fun thing to open in the last year. My friends and I have been every weekend and it's always packed, the owners are great and I met 2 people who live across the street and they love it.

Can't wait for the shuffleboard club!
July 24, 2012, 11:15 am
lisa from gowanus says:
And actually it's not next to 3 schools. It's across from ONE school which is out of session at 3pm every weekday and closed on the weekends. How does that affect mostly weekend drinking at night?

I hate it when people make irrational claims that are mostly lies to suit their needs. This is NYC, we don't need a parking lot there, ever heard of the subway?
July 24, 2012, 11:17 am
eeknaYpmawS from nylkoorB deniur says:
I think it sounds like a lovely bar. I shall be frequently attending once it has open for business.
July 24, 2012, 1:54 pm
Bruce from midwood says:
Union and third. I stand corrected .Yes I was thinking of where Hanks was.But union and third Doesn't have much in the way of residences. Does it?
July 24, 2012, 2:46 pm
Joseph from Gowanus says:
Bruce - actually, yes, there are over 100 residential buildings within a 500 ft radius of the proposed Shuffleboard club. Lots of families, kids, the works... Who knew - people do and always have lived right by the Gowanus!
July 24, 2012, 3:56 pm
Bo from bk says:
Only an idiot would try to prevent a polluted, Superfund site filled with garbage, STD's and burned out buildings from improving by the addition of new businesses.
July 24, 2012, 4:55 pm
Stevie from Gowanus says:
I live about two blocks away. That spot features two abandoned squatter filled buildings, an auto repair graveyard, and some nice older guys soldering beautiful ironwork in an old run-down garage. A shuffleboard bar in that spot would be awesome...and a place that I will happily visit.

If these Gowanus residents are so against a neighborhood bar, they should start by marching around in front of that stupid OUTDOOR Sunday dance party on the canal where you can hear the loud bass from their crappy house music for BLOCKS.
July 24, 2012, 8:17 pm

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