This past Saturday Chris and I met up with some friends in their neck of the woods — Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn — for some whiskey tasting at Char No. 4, followed by some shuffleboard at the new Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Gowanus.
So the whiskey first. Char No. 4 is this cute little whiskey bar and restaurant. According to the site:
“The name refers to the practice of aging bourbon in charred new oak barrels, which gives bourbon its characteristic sweet, caramelized flavors and its beautiful amber hue. Char No. 4 features over 150 American whiskeys and serves a menu of American fare with a focus on smoked meat. The American whiskeys are augmented by an extensive list of whiskeys from Europe and beyond as well as a selection of all-bourbon cocktails.”
You can check their events page for updates on their whiskey tastings (they also have soft shell crab Wednesdays in June, Barbecue nights in July and Rye revival classes, among others).
Our whiskey class was about $40 per person, and it included four different types of whiskeys (see above), as well as three different appetizers (deviled eggs, a delicious fried cheese and some sort of meat nugget which I obviously couldn’t eat).
So I’ll let you in on a little secret — I don’t particularly love whiskey 😉 And having a tasting didn’t really change that. But it was fun to do it, and it was really interesting to learn about the history and how it’s made and all that. Overall, I would highly recommend this little outing — it’s perfect for group get togethers and dates alike.
After loading up on whiskey we took the short walk from Carroll Gardens over the Gowanus Canal into Gowanus, an up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood with not too much going on — except for this brand new Royal Palms Shuffleboard bar. It literally opened about 3 weeks ago, which is why the owner still cares enough at this point to come outside and address the growing line of would-be patrons. They don’t want a line simply to make the place “look cool,” he assured us. It’s just that the fire department says they’re only allowed to have 300 people inside at one time — and he’s really afraid of the fire department.
We only waited about 10 minutes though, and inside was a gamers dream. Shuffleboard (at a price of $40 per hour — which isn’t too bad when split between four people), Connect Four, cards and other games await, along with a seafood food truck, cozy cabanas and beer.
And not for nothing, but this place is a huge warehouse, and the 300 people or less fire code keeps it super airy and spacious, meaning there was absolutely no bumping into people or sloppiness, no long lines at the women’s restroom — basically just the way I like my bars!
^^ We plopped ourselves at a shuffleboard-side table and played cards and
drank some beer while waiting for our turn to play shuffleboard.
Maybe the popularity of this place will die down eventually, but for now,
in its newness splendor, it took us about 2.5 hours to get to our turn.
^^ Shuffleboard courts run the length of the middle of the warehouse. So fun to watch!
I wasn’t sure we’d be able to wait long enough to finally get to play, but we occupied our time with the seafood food truck, as well.
^^We grabbed a lobster roll, shrimp role, cole slaw and some bags of chips
from the Red Hook Lobster food truck (which is located inside the bar).
Holy cow they were so. delicious!
After stuffing our faces with seafood and playing cards for 2.5 hours, we finally had our shot at shuffleboard.
^^ The owner came over to give us the rules ahead of playing.
We played boys against girls, and although the boys tried to
hide the evidence, this happened …
^^ Ummm, 43 – 96 = the girls beating the boys — awahooo!!!
I mean, it would have been an awesome night without the win … but it certainly didn’t hurt 😉
Bis bald, friends! If you happen to be in the area, get thee to Char No. 4 for some whiskey and to the Royal Palms for some shuffleboard afterwards. It makes for a lovely Saturday night.
3 thoughts on “Back in the (Different) Borough: A Night in Carroll Gardens & Gowanus”
That’s so cool! I live in Manhattan and would love to take a whiskey class. Now I know where to go! –Greg from “Meals and Reels.”
Hello, juѕt waոted to tell you, I loved thiѕ bloɡ post.
It was helpful. Keep on posting!