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Monday, December 20, 2010

St. James Tavern

St. James Tavern is an inconspicuous little bar on 4th Street and Detroit Avenue in Italian Village. I first came here when I was 21 or 22, but didn't really return until I was 24 or 25 (my polish brother, the legendary Brett (from foid, Hotel War, and Vietnam II: oOo! Shameless name-drop!), lived on  Detroit so we would walk to the bar frequently). There are two pool tables, chairs and tables all around, and a long bar with stools. They don't serve food, they don't have shitty cover bands, and (most importantly) they don't have a TV.

What they do have is great beer, great prices, atmosphere (something that is seriously lacking in most every other establishment in Columbus), and the best jukebox in the city.

However, all of that has been said by other people already. What is new? What hasn't been said about St. James Tavern yet?

  • They specialize in imports and microbrews; especially the rarer high alcohol content ales. The Bourbon Barrel Stout is ridiculous.
  • My friends and I got a nice special price on Beck's Dark because they were trying to get rid of them. Fine by me; I give those Hessian bastards a new home in my tummy!
  • Three kegs of Affligem Noel are available in the city; St. James has two of them.
  • The clientele is predominantly college hipsters; although a faithful older crowd of former college hipsters fills in the gaps on off-days.
  • The place is dark. The lighting is kept to a minimum, but not to the point where you get squinty trying to strain your eyes. The music is loud, but not overbearingly loud. It creates a very intimate atmosphere even when the place is jammed with people.
  • Wood covers EVERYTHING.
  • There is graffiti in the men's room that says something along the lines of, "This isn't a ladies room; keep the seat up." 
  • Speaking of the Men's room; it was stocked with soap and paper towels! 
  • I know nothing of the Women's restroom except from the few, instinctive and unintentional peeks I got while playing pool at various visits. Dude's can't help that reaction. It's not that we're being pervy, it's just that the Women's room is like the last frontier for men; an unexplored mystery where women (who we are most interested in but can't seem to understand) seem to congregate (and, we think, to talk about us).
  • Simpson's Pinball. That should be self-explanatory.
It seems as if it has been Winter, late Fall, or early Spring every time I've been there. I associate the place with visible breath, scarves, and floppy knit hats.

You can find St. James Tavern online on Facebook, Twitter, and their own website. Facebook and Twitter are updated frequently, so those are your best bet to find out what's on tap on any given day.
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