GOWANUS — New Yorkers suffering through a dreary winter will soon get an injection of sunny Florida-style fun.
The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club will officially open to the public on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m., almost two years after club co-owners Ashley Albert and Jonathan Schnapp first announced plans to bring the retirement home game to Brooklyn.
The club received its final occupancy permit from the city this week, clearing the way to set an official opening date, Albert told DNAinfo New York.
Royal Palms lets visitors test out their skills at using "tangs" (cues) to push "biscuits" (discs) across 10 shiny floor courts. Games cost $40 an hour and can be played by groups of two to eight people.
The club was inspired by Schnapp's childhood trips to visit his grandparents in West Palm Beach, but the atmosphere at the 17,000-square-foot venue will have a strong Brooklyn flavor. A rotating roster of food trucks will supply snacks, a bar will serve kitschy cocktails, and for opening night, Albert is planning to line up a "yacht rock" DJ.
The club, which is the first of its kind in New York, has racked up a pile of press attention and has hosted a series of soft opening events to build buzz. As a result, 120 teams of six players each have registered to play on league nights (Mondays and Tuesdays), and the club has been flooded with 50 to 100 requests a day from people looking to host private events, Albert said. On Sunday, Royal Palms will host its first wedding, which was booked back in August.
Royal Palms faced some opposition from neighbors who worried the club, which can hold a maximum of just under 300 people, would bring noise and crowds to a quiet block of Union Street.
But Albert said some of those opponents dropped in at soft opening events to play a few rounds of shuffleboard and walked away smiling. "It took every ounce of will power to not cry with joy, I was so thrilled to see them there," Albert said.