514 Union Street, (Third Avenue and Nevins Street), Gowanus,
What it is: All-things-Florida-themed shuffleboard court with a full bar and rotating food trucks.
Why we love it: For those of us who spent grueling family “vacations” with our grandparents in retirement homes across Florida, the prospect of going to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court might sound like a major trigger. Fear not! Going to the spacious Royal Palms is like the real kind of Florida vacation, heretofore depicted in daydreams and vintage postcards: aqua colored everything, flamingo wall paper in the bathrooms, shuffleboard puns and cabanas. This venue is best enjoyed in small groups so you can take advantage of your hour of court time and still have a couple people on your team’s side to chill with. Note that the courts are long and you play next to an opposing team member. It’s a great way to have some flirty competition with a work crush, while literally being on the same team as your conveniently far away boss. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play, as a staff member will give you a complementary tutorial. Weekly activities range from drag queen bingo to a new monthly Funk & Soul Dance Party (finally, South Brooklyn)! Check their Facebook and Twitter periodically for one-off parties that are usually free. Even if you don’t shuffle, it’s still a great place to bring a pal and escape the cramped and pretentious bars of NYC.
What to order: As you would expect, Royal Palms specializes in fun, fruity cocktails. However, they have several craft beers on tap for your Beer Book pleasure. One of the most unusual and delightful features of this space is that the nosh is provided by a different food truck every day. A member of their delightful waitstaff will serve you drinks, so you’ll never miss a second of the game.
Regular tip: League nights are Monday and Tuesday, so don’t expect to reserve a court! Also, the guy on the scooter is a co-owner, so no snickering.