Earlier today, we received a tip that Williamsburg bar Royal Oak—or, as the locals might know it, Royal Joke, had "closed suddenly" for reasons unexplained. A longstanding fixture in the Williamsburg dance party circuit, the bar was once described as a "beautiful hideaway...with a laid-back, stylish crowd," though more recently as a "douche-magnet—attracting morons from near and far." They have disconnected their phone and taken down their website.
Owner Benjamin Shih, who also owns nearby bar Sweet Ups and formerly co-owned Hotel Chantelle, was not available for comment. Per Chantelle PR reps, "Benjamin sold his part of Chantelle in January to full owner Ravi Patel. Last time we heard of him he was called to go to Afghanistan because he was in the Army before." A neighborhood resident was unfazed, telling us, "I'm sure everyone within a few-block radius of that dump is just happy it's gone."