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New shuffleboard bar will let Brooklynites party like their grandparents – Brooklyn Paper

New shuffleboard bar will let Brooklynites party like their grandparents

Old school: Owners of The Royal Palms will open a sprawling shuffleboard club in Gowanus, saying hipsters dig old-people games.
Photo by Tom Callan

Now you can have all of the fun of retirement without giving up your job.

A massive, kitschy-cool shuffleboard club inspired by Florida’s senior scene is coming to Gowanus — and it’s one more sign that Brooklyn’s dyed-and-tatted set of cool kids love geezer games as much as actual old people.

Owners of The Royal Palms, a grocery-store sized club featuring regulation-size shuffleboard courts and a full bar, will soon open in a re-purposed Gowanus building with an undeniably geriatric vibe: there’ll be lounge music, bingo, and even episodes of “The Love Boat” on TV.

“We want it to feel like a Florida hotel from the ’70s,” said co-owner Ashley Albert. “It’s a fun vintage thing for 20-and-30-somethings to try.”

Sure, hipsters have been ripping off elderly people for years — with their handlebar mustaches, vinyl record collections, and love for pickling their own vegetables — but the phenomena is best illustrated by Brooklyn’s grandparent-approved nightlife offerings, bar owners say.

Underground Rebel Bingo Club, for example, holds secretive bingo-centric booze-fests, complete with sexy dancing at locations in the borough. Abilene in Carroll Gardens serves craft beer alongside games of Backgammon and Scrabble. And Union Hall in Park Slope and Floyd in Brooklyn Heights have bocce ball scenes that could win over many Bensonhurst grandpas.

That’s part of why Abilene owner Mike O’Neil said he likes to offer up bar-side games such as Yahtzee that many patrons remember from their Bubbe’s place. They’re simple, they go well with booze, and they help shy drinkers bust through awkward silences, he said.

“Sometimes you run out of things to say,” O’Neil said. “They don’t take too much thought — and they remind you of the past.”

He added games also have nostalgic value, which is part of the shuffleboard appeal, too, Albert said.

Her club, which was first reported by the blog Gothamist, will also serve key lime-flavored cocktails, boast a dozen regulation-sized courts, and potentially include a roof deck by next year.

She declined to say the exact location of the new club — a final leasing agreement is in the works — but she added it will likely be “super-affordable” spot to channel your inner snowbird.

“There’s just something kind of cool about old time-y activities,” she said. “Right?”

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

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