Gachot Studios has given the traditional sport of shuffleboard a fresh spin with its design scheme for the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in New York, the city's first venue dedicated to the leisurely game
Of all the games that we could have foreseen sweeping through the Big Apple, shuffleboard would not have sprung to mind. But this month will see the opening of the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (opens in new tab), the city's first venue devoted to the traditional, slow-moving sport in the hipster Brooklyn, no less. Located in a refurbished 17,000 sq ft warehouse not far from the Gowanus Canal, the club has gone the whole hog with ten fully-equipped shuffleboard courts ready for use.
A favourite pastime of Floridian retirees and cruise-ship vacationers because of its requirement for minimal exertion, shuffleboard's Brooklyn iteration comes with a suitably stylish makeover, courtesy of local design firm Gachot Studios (opens in new tab). 'This started with an idea and nothing else. The challenge was: how do you take a sport that has no brand identity or recognition and make it relevant?' recounts partner Christine Gachot.
Gachot Studios ultimately drew inspiration from owner Jonathan Schnapp's childhood memories of playing the game with his grandparents and their peers during visits at their retirement home. 'There is no mystery when you walk in, it's very straightforward. You're here to play shuffleboard,' says Gachot. The industrial space has been infused with a cool, tropical colour palette, most notably by eschewing the traditional green of the courts for a swimming pool shade of turquoise instead. Glossy, light wood floors perfectly counterbalance the building's original industrial accents, which are also echoed in the black and white striped cabanas that line one side of the room.
For those who are less inclined to push a biscuit with a broom-shaped paddle across a court, packs of Uno and other low-exertion games can also be enjoyed here. The Royal Palm's playful attitude also carries through to its food and drinks menu. The club's list of tropical-tinged cocktails, which runs the gamut from piña coladas to a cucumber and coconut water gin gimlet, have been named after shuffleboard legends, and come served (albeit in mason jars) with straw twists or paper umbrellas. The food is always a surprise as it's supplied by a changing roster of food trucks that drive straight into the space and dole out their grub indoors.
With all these pieces in place, The Royal Palm's union of rose-tinted nostalgia and urban irony could not have come together more perfectly. Let the games begin.
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (opens in new tab)
514 Union Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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