Shuffle kerfuffle! Club owners scale back plans after neighbors protest

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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 or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

k from gp says:
Shuffle Board Booze = Disaster

These people have problems.
Sept. 4, 2012, 5:18 pm
Josef from Clinton Hill says:
Michael Levin and these other whining, complaining NIMBY punks have no leg to stand on with their absurd petition.

Having lived on Union Street and walked through Gowanus on a frequent basis, I can say for certain that this proposal could only improve what is now an eyesore. "[T]hrows off the balance of the neighborhood" my foot. The neighborhood has no balance, unless a toxic, foul-smelling sludge pit, derelict and underused warehouses, a pie bakery, the most unappealing Lowes/Pathmark combo ever, a grimy Holiday Inn Express, and the Bell House constitute "balance". Which they obviously don't.
Sept. 5, 2012, 10:38 am
Tom from Gowanus says:
Yeah, Josef, nothing dresses up a neighborhood like a bunch of rowdy drunks! Maybe you can make room for it across the street from where you live? Having walked through your area I can say for certain you're all NIMBY to that idea, aren't you?

This application pretends to be one thing while hiding what it really is: a mega-bar. They even pitch it as being "fun for the whole family!" Like junior and sis are their target market! AND they want to expand onto the roof, because wouldn't that just be cool? Under the star! And screw the people who are living there.

I don't think so, Josef, I don't think so.
Sept. 7, 2012, 11:18 am

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