Gowanus Shuffleboard Club Ruffling Local Feathers


A Gowanus resident living near the 17,000-square-foot shuffleboard club proposed for the neighborhood sent in this picture of flyers going up around the potential space. He says: “This is an industrial zone with a lot of residents, and the whole block is concerned about having a club here.” Nearby neighbors are mostly concerned with potential noise, especially if there are courts on the roof, and the size of the venue. We’re told these residents are petitioning for the club move somewhere else entirely, although the venue has yet to apply for its liquor license. The owners of the club, to be called Royal Palms, have seen the posters. One of the partners, Ashley Albert, tells us, “With a space as large as ours, we can certainly understand why someone might feel concern and would, of course, welcome the opportunity to sit down with anyone who has questions, individually – so we can carefully listen to what they have to say, be able to give them a better idea of what we’re aiming to do and find a way to work together to address any issues. It’s really important… that The Royal Palms be a positive contribution to the entire community and we really do feel like it’s something everyone can get excited about.” They also say they’ve started reaching out to their neighbors.

37 Comment

  • daveinbedstuy

    Like he said “this is an industrial zone…”

  • The first sentence says it all – people who choose to live in an industrial zone should realize that this is where obnoxious uses are supposed to go. M-1 zoning allows all sorts of things you wouldn’t want to live near including bars and nightclubs. This is a classic example of people moving into a neighborhood and expecting it to change to meet their needs after they arrive.

    • To start off, the people fighting against this shuffleboard/ bar have been living here for over 30years. We did not just move here and want to change the neighborhood. In fact we love the change and welcome new businesses in the neighborhood but when your talking about a venue that can hold hundreds of people maybe over a thousand with the roof being used. This becomes more than just a small bar or restaurant that can hold up to maybe 50 to 60 people. We can deal with a small bar or restaurant and as for Dinosaur BBQ they close at an early time, does’nt have a rooftop and will not have music or a crowd until 4am. And for the block being industrial it just means that it’s busy during the day and nice and quiet at night which is what we are worried about.

  • poor thread because doesn’t even tell us where it is.
    a little research seems to indicate Union Street(3rd/4th avenue)…which has plenty of apartment buildings probably r/s and would not seem newcomers. (and that holiday inn).
    The ones moving in and changing things would be the bar owners

  • Gowanus, to me, is the perfect place for clubs and bars, as there really is not a heavy residential feel. it is mostly industrial.

  • This is truly amazing. Agreed that this is an industrial area, and therefor the perfect place for this type of establishment. Furthermore, i used to walk through this space a lot (crossing gowanus from cobble hill to park slope), and on the one semi-residential stretch you would ALWAYS see people out having a party on their front stoops, blaring music, blocking the sidewalks, bbq’ing, essentially acting as though the sidewalk/street was their personal front yard.

    I therefore understand how these folks may see the space as “theirs” and not want crowds coming in… but NOT because they value peace & quiet or a loiter-free zone!

  • SHUFFLEBOARD??? or is that a euphemism for something else. Please tell me this isn’t the latest hipster craze (like kickball and dodgeball leagues). And how could it possibly become a popular sport if there wasn’t a moronic film by Will Ferrell — or some other refugee from SNL — about it?

  • Interesting how many misconceptions there are about this stretch of Union Street. I’ll say one thing: if I were an investor I would certainly NOT invest in this club because there is no way they’ll get a liquor license. Royal Palms comes in like some sort of colonizing power without any regard to the neighborhood, presuming that by gracing us with their very presence the neighborhood will be improved. The fact is there are actually a lot of residential buildings here and residents do not want this club in their midst. We are well connected and well organized, having already fought off several illegal clubs, so this simply isn’t going to happen.

    • Unhappyneighbor: you sound like an oversized bag of joy! Just because your lame entitled ass may not want a bar/lounge doesn’t mean that no one else does!

      • Ryanmonroe21 I won’t say what you sound like. But take a walk down this block of Union Street and you’ll see that indeed NO ONE around here wants this 25,000 sq ft bar. Most of all, that would be to keep people like you away from here.

    • I’m pretty excited about this. I used to play shuffleboard competitively in college. I haven’t walked this block in a little while, but I only remember about 6 or 7 four-story residential buildings on this block? You’ve every right to oppose whatever you want in your neighborhood, but “a lot of residential buildings” seems a bit of a stretch. They should at least be forced to change their name. The Royal Palms, what is Gowanus the new South Beach? If it’s as expensive as Brooklyn Bowl is for bowling though, I say have at ‘em. Won’t be able to afford it so I won’t care.

  • The Royal Palms creators and previous commenters seem to be confused by the difference between industrial and commercial/retail. This block on Union Street is residential and industrial.
    There is a difference between industrial and commercial/retail. One major difference is that industrial businesses typically shut down at 6pm. Commercial/retail can keep going until 4am! Another difference is industrial businesses have a fairly constant traffic count (their employees), while commercial/retail businesses have a goal to increase their traffic count day by day, month by month, year by year.
    Increasing traffic late into the night is not good news for a residential block.

  • The Royal Palms creators and previous commenters seem to be confused by the difference between industrial and commercial/retail. This block on Union Street is residential and industrial.
    There is a difference between industrial and commercial/retail. One major difference is that industrial businesses typically shut down at 6pm. Commercial/retail can keep going until 4am! Another difference is industrial businesses have a fairly constant traffic count (their employees), while commercial/retail businesses have a goal to increase their traffic count day by day, month by month, year by year.
    Increasing traffic late into the night is not good news for a residential block.

  • Ryan,
    You sound like an ignorant windbag.
    The majority of Union Street neighbors don’t want a nightclub on the block.
    If you live here, please respect the opinion of your neighbors.
    You can certainly walk a block or two to get your buzz on.

  • Ryan,
    You sound like an ignorant windbag.
    The majority of Union Street neighbors don’t want a nightclub on the block.
    If you live here, please respect the opinion of your neighbors.
    You can certainly walk a block or two to get your buzz on.

  • Oy. Since the whiners are trying to make it seem like they represent the entire neighborhood, I guess I have to point out that this is not the case at all. Everyone I know thinks a new bar/club sounds like fun. In fact, I first heard about these signs in a conversation with many area residents who were annoyed that their neighbors were trying to halt this sort of local growth. This is the neighborhood that, along with several existing event spaces, bars and venues that operate late into the night, also coexists happily with a superfund site, mob hangouts, the occasional hooker and plenty else. Right – a shuffleboard-themed bar is going to ruin everything.

    (BTW, I wonder if these people realize a Dino BBQ is coming to Union St. soon too.)

    As for the industrial vs. residential question – well, Gowanus is really both, mixed up in quite close proximity, in a way that’s a little unusual and probably not comparable to most neighborhoods. Yes, people live down here. But – so? There are bars and restaurants plenty close to residences in every other surrounding neighborhood, and most vibrant NYC neighborhoods. Actually, that’s kinda part of what makes them desirable places to live.

    Anyway, I just hope the whiners find something better to do with their time and realize that it’s ok to let the neighborhood grow into the just slightly livelier, funner place it seems to want to be. Abandoned warehouses and empty lots are cool and all, but economic growth and progress sound even better to me.

  • That picture looks like Union st between 3rd and Nevins, not 4th and 3rd. Are we certain it’s between 4th and 3rd Aves?

  • That picture looks like Union st between 3rd and Nevins, not 4th and 3rd. Are we certain it’s between 4th and 3rd Aves?

  • 936,
    It’s ridiculous to compare the new and very welcome restaurants like Little Neck, Fort Reno and favorites like Black Mountain to a Mega Bar. These restaurants do make the neighborhood more desirable. Even venues like the Green Building (who by the way did due diligence to make things right for the neighborhood) are welcome with limits.
    And yes, I think everyone knows about the Dino Bbque which will be surrounded on all 4 sides by other businesses…not residences.

    Progress, economic growth, livelier neighborhood…all this is welcome and happening already and in a way that naturally fits into a neighborhood.
    It’s hard to imagine a big club fitting in the same way.

    And btw “funner” is not a word.

    • I just don’t see what you’re so afraid of. Scale seems to be the problem – you use scary terms like “Mega Bar” and “big club”, but this is an idea for basically a Florida retirement-themed bar with space for leisure games. Yes, it’s a big space, but that’s because they need it for the courts. It’s an almost sickeningly quaint Brooklyn hipster concept – about as far away from a loud dance club as you can get. Honestly, it’s kind of a weird idea, but threatening it’s not.

      The reason I bring up Dino BBQ is because, based on their other locations around the state (I’m familiar at least with their Syracuse and Harlem establishments), I know that’s actually a place that really does tend to draw crowds from out of the neighborhood, lines, and messy parking situations. I’m not advocating against it by any means but I think your priorities are off.

      No, you’re right, it isn’t a word.

    • I just don’t see what you’re so afraid of. Scale seems to be the problem – you use scary terms like “Mega Bar” and “big club”, but this is an idea for basically a Florida retirement-themed bar with space for leisure games. Yes, it’s a big space, but that’s because they need it for the courts. It’s an almost sickeningly quaint Brooklyn hipster concept – about as far away from a loud dance club as you can get. Honestly, it’s kind of a weird idea, but threatening it’s not.

      The reason I bring up Dino BBQ is because, based on their other locations around the state (I’m familiar at least with their Syracuse and Harlem establishments), I know that’s actually a place that really does tend to draw crowds from out of the neighborhood, lines, and messy parking situations. I’m not advocating against it by any means but I think your priorities are off.

      No, you’re right, it isn’t a word.

      • One can only wonder: are you one of the promoters? Glad you admit its a big space. Even with the shuffleboards there are still some 6000 square feet of bar space. That makes for a BIG bar. And besides – you’re not going to tell us that its the shuffleboard rentals that are going to pay the rent? Brooklyn Bowl seems like a good comparison.

      • One can only wonder: are you one of the promoters? Glad you admit its a big space. Even with the shuffleboards there are still some 6000 square feet of bar space. That makes for a BIG bar. And besides – you’re not going to tell us that its the shuffleboard rentals that are going to pay the rent? Brooklyn Bowl seems like a good comparison.

  • I hate hipster novelty bars as much as anyone, but the opponents have a pretty weak argument against the guy’s right to do business in a mixed-use area. The proposed location is wedged amongst: a coffin maker; an iron works; an auto repair place that (illegally) performs repairs on the street, (illegally) lets fluids run into the sewer and parks buses all over the place; and a Verizon facility with trucks coming and going constantly. Basically every business parks vehicles all over the sidewalk. Are there residential buildings amidst the industry? Absolutely. But it’s absurd to claim that shuffleboard, drinks and music will somehow impose negative externalities that are anything close to the level of those associated with the industrial uses that residents have accepted for 100+ years.

  • I hate hipster novelty bars as much as anyone, but the opponents have a pretty weak argument against the guy’s right to do business in a mixed-use area. The proposed location is wedged amongst: a coffin maker; an iron works; an auto repair place that (illegally) performs repairs on the street, (illegally) lets fluids run into the sewer and parks buses all over the place; and a Verizon facility with trucks coming and going constantly. Basically every business parks vehicles all over the sidewalk. Are there residential buildings amidst the industry? Absolutely. But it’s absurd to claim that shuffleboard, drinks and music will somehow impose negative externalities that are anything close to the level of those associated with the industrial uses that residents have accepted for 100+ years.

  • Having food trucks from different venders at this bar is another way to say “we have food” but are not responsible for it, or it’s clean up and equates to an end pass around the normally required permits. Perpahs they should get a bar on wheels too.

  • Having food trucks from different venders at this bar is another way to say “we have food” but are not responsible for it, or it’s clean up and equates to an end pass around the normally required permits. Perpahs they should get a bar on wheels too.

  • Seems to me these Shuffleboard people have a pretty smooth PR campaign in the works. Friends in Soho used to tell me of how a bar would apply for a liquor license making all sorts of promises to the neighborhood and then once they were open totally disregard that.
    It’ll be interesting to see how many of these “supporters” of the Royal Palms show up at a Community Board hearing.

  • Seems to me these Shuffleboard people have a pretty smooth PR campaign in the works. Friends in Soho used to tell me of how a bar would apply for a liquor license making all sorts of promises to the neighborhood and then once they were open totally disregard that.
    It’ll be interesting to see how many of these “supporters” of the Royal Palms show up at a Community Board hearing.

  • This bar sounds pretty tame, but if the neighbors are posting signs, blogging, “complaining” and “whining”‘ there must be more to the story….don’t ya think?