Chicago, We’ve Got a Shuffleboard Nightclub

Or, how to host a group date night that doesn’t suck

By The Editors
March 29, 2018 9:00 am

Sometimes a little friendly competition is just what a casual night needs, whether with friends, a date or some combination of the two.

Howzibout a chummy game of shuffleboard?

That’s the M.O. at Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, a tremendously stylish mecca of puck- gliding and rail riding, open tonight in Bucktown.

Inside: 10 shuffleboard courts. Cocktails. Food trucks. And more than enough space to unwind.

And we’ve got a few ideas on how to make the ideal group date night out of it.

Step One: The Look
Royal Palms takes inspiration from sunny Florida, and it’s hard not to acknowledge that shuffleboard is the game of choice for the Sunshine State’s retirement community. But we say embrace it. And you’d do no better in doing so with this all-over Flamingo print shirt from Gitman Vintage, available at Penelope’s in Wicker Park. Pair it with a relaxed pair of slacks and you’re ready to wield a tang like you mean it.
1913 W. Division St. (map)

Step Two: The Bites
The rotation of indoor food trucks will not be enough to feed you and yours, let alone a swarm, so you’ll wanna start your night off with cocktail and bar bites at Fort Willow, the new spot on the Elston Industrial Corridor from the folks at DMK. The playful bar has been touted for its whimsy (the interior resembles a treehouse), but it’s not all about looks. Start off with the Tree Fort Punch, a delectable concoction of gin, sencha green tea and mint. Then order up a few plates for the table from the globe-spanning menu: the crispy cauliflower and Korean short ribs are our favorites.
1721 N. Elston Ave. (map)

Step Three: The Shuffleboard
Whether you take a car or walk the 606, Royal Palms is just a skip-hop away. Coming by way of Brooklyn, Royal Palms is a cavernous tropical space, where 10 courts (and an 11th on the rooftop to come later this summer) take center stage. Upon entering, you’ll wanna put your name in for one of those courts, and then grab a cocktail.

Things to note: That stick you’re holding? It’s called a tang. The puck is a biscuit.  The 10 OFF section of the scoring triangle is known as “The Kitchen,” where you lose ten points. Keep your biscuits out of it. The line between the 7s and 10 OFF is “The Fence.” Keep your biscuits off of it, lest a savvy opponent knock them into the kitchen. All in, you’re looking at a game that’s 15% skill, 85% strategy
1760 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)

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