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Shuffle kerfuffle! Club owners scale back plans after neighbors protest • Brooklyn Paper

Shuffle kerfuffle! Club owners scale back plans after neighbors protest

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

The owners of a proposed shuffleboard club in Gowanus are changing their game plan and reducing capacity after neighbors claimed the sprawling play space would flood the community with drunken revelers.

Royal Palms owners Ashley Albert and Jonathan Schnapp say they’ll scale back the Florida-themed bar’s occupancy from roughly 500 to 300 after angry residents — some of whom are circulating a petition to stop the club from opening — blasted the planned venue at Union Street and Third Avenue at a Community Board 6 meeting on its liquor license bid.

“We feel the presence of a huge club throws off the balance of the neighborhood,” said Michael Levin, who lives nearby. “It will totally overwhelm the neighborhood.”

Owners first announced plans for the grocery-store sized watering hole, which will feature regulation-length courts, a full bar and live music, earlier this year, saying it will likely open by February.

But neighbors soon began petitioning and passing out fliers to stop it from opening — and last Monday cited the duo’s lack of experience running large nightlife establishments as a big concern.

Others spoke in favor of Royal Palms, saying the old folks’ game is good clean fun that will bring neighbors together.

Owners nevertheless withdrew their liquor license bid before a Community Board 6 committee could vote, saying they would scale back the club’s capacity, re-submit an application, then come back next month.

In the mean time, Albert said she is arranging to sound-proof the building and will continue to work with neighbors.

“We see it as a place that can be a community center for all ages,” she said.

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

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