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royal palms shuffleboard club

[I’m counting down to the release of the Brooklyn Spaces book by doing one mini-post per day, sharing teasers of some of the places you’ll find in it.]

neighborhood: gowanus | space type: recreation | active since: 2013 | links: websitefacebook, twitter

As soon as Royal Palms owners Ashley and Jonathan walked into a former die-cutting factory on the Gowanus Canal, they knew they had to make the shuffleboard club they’d dreamed about. “We just plunked down our life savings and started figuring out how to make it happen,” Ashley says. They worked on it for two years, spending a long time raising money, including a Kickstarter campaign for the actual courts, which raised more than twice its goal. “That gave us a lot of confidence,” Jonathan says. “It showed us how many people were excited to support this idea, to make our passion project their passion project.”

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pix by Alix Piorun

As they’d hoped, the somewhat archaic game, long relegated to retirement homes and cruise ships, is doing swimmingly in Brooklyn. It’s the perfect intersection of nostalgia, novelty, and challenge, plus it’s a very social game that you can play with a drink in your hand. “Shuffleboard takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master,” says Ashley. “It’s hard to be very, very good, but it’s also hard to be very, very bad.”

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Want to learn more about Royal Palms, and 49 other incredible Brooklyn Spaces? Buy the book!