On Sunday, May 20, around 100 Chicago Yelp Elites bolted over to the new Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area for a night of shuffleboard, keg cocktails, colorful selfies, dancing, giant Jenga, and modern Asian street food from the Piko Street Kitchen food truck. To put it simply, the whole night ruled. But I’m not here to put it simply.
Originating in Brooklyn, The Royal Palms is a colorful, huge, Florida cruise ship-themed space where you can meet your friends for drinks and play on their rows and rows of shuffleboard courts. They hold the largest Monday and Tuesday Night Shuffleboard Leagues in the world, and the owners, Ashley Albert and Jonathan Schnapp, are internationally ranked shuffleboard players. Impressive, right?!
Elites were invited to meet the new Chicago Community Manager starting at 7 p.m. as one of the owners, Jonathan, wowed the room while manning the DJ booth, spinning only the best songs. Marcela Serna Photography was our photographer for the evening, capturing everyone’s delight with their newfound shuffleboard skills.
Any Yelp Elite with a wristband got cocktails on the house! The Royal Palms featured their carefully curated menu made up of “keg cocktails,” which are drinks they’ve created and perfected and serve from a keg. Some of these unique drinks included The Spicy Gigi, made with Mezcal and guava, along with the Shuffleboard Bob, which included gin, coconut water, and bitters. They also offered some mighty tasty wine and beers.
The Royal Palms’s food situation isn’t like most: They bring in a different food truck every week to showcase all different kinds of unique local bites. The fabulous Piko Street Kitchen truck was on-site for our Elite event, serving up modern Asian street fare. Each Elite was able to choose either two bao, sliders, or tacos, and they were able to top each off with either ribeye, chicken, pork, or tofu. Piko filled each taco, bao, and slider to the brim with slaw and sauces, and I’m getting hungry all over again just thinking about it.
On top of all of the fantastic food and drink provided, Elites were challenged to play some shuffleboard, of course! For many, it was their first shuffleboard experience, but the Royal Palms was prepared and had staff on the courts, ready to teach. Soon, new players were teaching other new players all the rules. Who knew you could get hooked so easily on shuffleboard so quickly?! There were also quite a few intense giant Jenga and giant Connect Four competitions going on, as well.
One of the stars of the show was the Royal Palms’s photo booth wall: A tall, blue, glittery corner with quite a bit of foliage next to a huge wall of props like sunglasses, leis, and neon visors — all readily available so you can take the most memorable, goofy selfies (and make your friends take a few for your Instagram).
The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club may be new, but it’s definitely made its mark on the hearts of the Chicago Elite Squad. It’s going to be difficult to resist coming back, but the beauty is that there’s no reason to resist. Give in, friends. Give. In.
Thank you so much to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club and Piko Street Kitchen for a memorable, colorful, energetic night!
To learn more about The Royal Palms, check them out here.
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