Shuffleboard making a comeback at club in Brooklyn

Lauren Glassberg has the story.
May 5, 2014 5:53:36 PM PDT
An old-time sport is making a comeback. Shuffleboard is often seen on cruise ships and at retirement homes.

Now it's the name of the game at a new spot in Brooklyn.

And yes, this is your grandparents' game. And they're onto something, because this game is fun, competitive, totally social, and maybe even a little bit addictive.

"You've got yourself a biscuit and tang in that hand," said owner Jonathan Schnapp.

Funny words for the gear needed to play shuffleboard. Oh, you also need a court, and conveniently there are ten courts at Royal Palms Shuffleboard, a brand new shuffleboard club in an old manufacturing plant in the heart of Gowanus.

"You're channeling Florida here," I said. "Definitely, I think Florida is the story of this place," said Schnapp. "It's about going down there on vacation and Ashley is from Florida, and I used to go there as a kid. For us as East Coast people, Florida is what vacation was about."

And the idea for a shuffleboard club came to Schnapp and Ashley Albert during a trip to Florida. One thing led to another.

"Jonathan and I are ranked shuffleboard players, I'm the 68th ranked female shuffleboard player in the world," said Albert.

Who knew you could get a ranking? I'm a long way from that. On this day I was just learning, in my first time at shuffleboard.

"That's a perfect 8, you're a natural, that was great" Jonathan told me.

Soon you get the hang of the whole biscuit and tang thing. You can understand why this sport has been so popular at times, and yes, it qualifies as a sport.

And at Royal Palms, there are bars, cabanas, and food.

"Rather than build a kitchen, what we've done is build a system where we drive food trucks into the building and we can change them out every night," said Schnapp.

And there are shuffleboard leagues with 800 players, and the place has only been open two weeks. So try your hand at sending that biscuit down the court.

"It's just retro enough and it's just modern enough, and it's just Florida enough and it's just Brooklyn enough, and that's what we were going for here," said Albert.

It's $40 for an hour of shuffleboard, and that's for four people. Large groups can reserve courts, but otherwise it's first come first serve.

And on the weekend, expect long waits. So you may want to check out Royal Palms during the week.

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