According to a newsletter distributed by hand to Gowanus residents’ mailboxes this week (scanned and posted above), there is a Community Board Six public hearing tonight concerning the Lightstone Group’s massive planned development on Bond Street between Second and Carroll Streets.
Earlier this summer we surmised that the folks behind the Root Hill coffee shop and cafe at the corner of Carroll Street and 4th Avenue were working on a new burger joint just a couple of doors down. That GYFO dream came closer to reality over the weekend when the above sign — promising that “Root Hill Burger” would be opening “Very Soon!” — was posted on the storefront’s glass. The wooden construction panels that had been surrounding the storefront for the past few months have been removed as well.
After coming up with a new (old timey) venue concept, trying to find common ground with opposing neighbors, pulling and resubmitting an application for a liquor license, and waiting through another really really long Community Board Six (CB6) meeting, the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Parlor has been approved for a liquor license. At last nights meetings there were lots of people who waiting around through other venues’ liquor license applications to see the finale of the Shuffleboard liquor license debate. Ashley and Jonathan, owners of the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Parlor, resubmitted their case for their venue with another presentation that included: all the compromises they had made to appease neighbors who lived across the street (Union Organize), a whole lot of names on a petition in support of the venue, letters of recommendation, a smarty pants lawyer to provide legal advice, and actual local people who were able to voice their support. One of those supporter was a well-known eco-business owner, Eva Radke owner of Film Biz Recycling who stated at last night meeting:
“Community is important to the ethos that we do…. When I first heard about [the shuffleboard venue] I got very upset, upset that I didn’t think of it first”
Of course Eva and other locals went on to talk about how the venue would help the community, would be a great place for local families, and that Shuffleboard is a really fun game that they all wished to play.
The Royal Palms had lots of concessions they had made that included: no roof access, no people being out front smoking or waiting to get into the venue, smart security, food trucks (also not out front of the venue, but rather inside the venue), and closing on weekdays at 12:15a and weekends 2:15am. The closing early concession is one of the biggest because most, if not all local bars stay open till at least 2am or 4am. This includes Canal Bar just around the corning, which stays open every night till 4am.
The board voted 9 to 6 to approve the liquor license for the venue with a last call a half hour before closing.
And with that the debate ended. A venue that has been misrepresented by some of the media as a boozey Williamsburgesque night club has finally been able to convince a majority that Shuffling will be something fun and wholesome for the Gowanus and Community Board Six area.
“I want to go have a drink and learn how to play shuffleboard!”
Even Union Organized, a group that had been admittedly opposed to the Royal Palms, had members shaking hands with Ashley and Jonathan last night and were overheard saying:
“they had tried to meet lots of demands… and… the process works!”
Although this statement may not represent all those who have been in opposition of the venue.
Ashley and Jonathan of the Royal Palms were extremely happy with the result. Jonathan looked visibly exhausted from all the stress and really was just happy for the debate to be over. Ashley took a moment to respond to us about how they were felling:
“We are just so thrilled with the outcome. I feel like the system came through for everyone involved. We’re happy, the neighbors are happy, the committee is happy. We had an opportunity to meet so many more people in the community than we would have had we not had to go through this process and we’re better off because of it,”
We agree with Ashley! And although this kind of community outreach done before a venue opens is unheard of according to some CB6 board members, the connection with locals will help bring business and maintain the focus for the venue, which is to be a friendly fun place to play shuffleboard.
Frankly we wish we could go play Shuffleboard right now! Like right freaking now!
Cause everyone’s gonna be Shuffling…
Bonus Your Face Off
The Royal Palms not only will have actually Shuffleboard courts, but Shuffleboard table top games too. Check out this super long Shuffleboard table from their Facebook page:
Brooklyn Independent Television checks out one of our favorite places in Gowanus… The Gowanus Print Lab (GPL). Co-owner Ashley Hildreth gives a tour of their brilliant facilities and shows how YOU (yes you reading this) can print your very own stuff!
Bonus Your Face Off
It was just under a month ago that the Royal Palms Shuffleboard owners stood in front of Community Board Six (CB6) and presented its case for a liquor license at its venue. After hearing from members of the public that included Union Organized, the resident group adamantly opposed to the venue, and members of CB6, a hand vote from the board was taken. The hand vote showed that the Royal Palms would most likely not receive enough votes for the liquor license. So, the Royal Palms quickly withdrew their application for the liquor license to avoid the final vote. Since then the Royal Palms and Union Organized have been pushing for the local community to take their respective sides. The dispute between those who support and those who oppose is not hard to explain. It goes something like this:
Oppose – The ‘club’ as it is referred to, will interrupt the quaintness of the block with wild boozey people. The residents have built nice homes for their families and shouldn’t be bothered with people drunkenly leaving a bar in the wee hours of the morning.
Support – The ‘parlor’ as it is referred to, will be a new venue for people to play an old timey game. The venue will be a fun place for all audiences and will use the money earned on liquor drinks to also offer programs for kids and old people.
Both sound reasonable and both in a way are both right. The controversy is happening because of zoning in the area. A row of residential houses are right up against a commercial zone, and ultimately this situation was going to happen either now or in the future with other spaces.
So, Monday is JUDGEMENT DAY for both those for and against the Royal Palms Shuffleboard facility (The phrase “Judgement Day” sure makes this sound all intense and stuff). On Monday there will be another Community Board Six meeting to decide whether a Shuffleboard + liquor license + residential is a good equation. The meeting will take place on Monday September 24th at 6:30pm:
NYCHA Miccio Center
110 West 9th Street
(between Clinton/Henry Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
This meeting will not only cover the Royal Palms, but also all of the following CB6 issues:
- Orientation: Rules, regulations and procedures governing committee participation.
- Presentation and review of an unenclosed sidewalk cafe permit application renewal submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs on behalf of TSM Restaurant LLC at 524 Court Street (between Nelson Street/Huntington Street) to permit 8 tables and 16 seats.
- Presentation and review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority and a new Cabaret license application submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs, on behalf of Forty-Forty No More Enterprises, Inc. dba Con Amor Cabaret at 18 Commerce Street between (Columbia Street/Richards Street).
- Presentation and review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of Inches Wide LLC at 521 Hicks Street between (Kane Street/Degraw Street).
- Presentation and review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of Duke of Montrose at 47 5th Avenue between (St. Marks Avenue/Bergen Street).
- Continued review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club at 514 Union Street (between Nevins Street/3rd Avenue).
If you have an opinion on this subject you really should go to this meeting, but remember that even if things get heated, we are all Brooklynites and each of us really want Gowanus to be a wonderful place.