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Controversial Shuffleboard Club to Try Again for Community Board Approval

By Leslie Albrecht | September 24, 2012 7:59am

GOWANUS — A controversial shuffleboard club will make a second attempt at getting Community Board 6 to approve its liquor license on Monday night, a month after withdrawing its application in the face of community outcry.

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club at 514 Union St. is scheduled to present its booze permit application at a 6:30 p.m. meeting of Community Board 6's permits and licenses committee.

The shuffleboard club first sought Community Board 6's approval a month ago, but nearby residents presented a long list of concerns about how the club could destroy their block's peace and quiet with noisy late-night crowds.

Rather than risk a no vote, Royal Palms backers said they would return to the community board after hiring an experienced manager who could calm community fears about controlling rowdy patrons. They also said they would consider lowering the number of customers allowed at the club.

It's not clear whether they've done that — Royal Palms co-founder Ashley Albert couldn't be reached for comment. Albert has been walking door-to-door in the neighborhood to build support for the club, which will have 10 shuffleboard courts, serve food and alcohol, and host musical acts.

Despite shuffleboard's image as a staid activity found primarily on cruise ships, neighbors worry that the club — which could hold up to 500 customers — will overwhelm their block.

As late as Friday afternoon, neighbors said they were in last-minute negotiations with Royal Palms' lawyer to hammer out a resolution to their concerns, but declined to comment on details. Royal Palms sent out messages on Facebook and Twitter asking supporters to show up at Monday night's Community Board 6 meeting. The club also posted a message on its Facebook page saying, "We're emotionally preparing ourselves for a 'no' vote."

Community board approval isn't required for a liquor license; it's the State Liquor Authority that has the final say. But Royal Palms told supporters on its Facebook page that it was seeking the community board's blessing because they "would just rather go through the proper channels to keep the peace."

Community Board 6 meets at NYCHA's Miccio Center, 110 W. 9th St., between Clinton and Henry streets, at 6:30 p.m.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the club would have 40 shuffleboard courts. The correct number is 10 courts, serving a maximum of 40 players.