Nightlife Diaries: The Royal James

Published Mon, Jan 14, 2013 11:32 AM
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Submitted by Red Rover — Correspondent

With all the noble kate-and-harry hubbub (that sprightly lil ginger really did come into his own, no?—but i digress…), the inherent fascination with the British aristocracy (and its expansion, er, progeny) is a no-brainer.

But if you're picturing a stuffy Brit with his legs effeminately crossed, pinky out, basking in his aristocratic arrogance, think again. The Royal James is of no relation. 'Royal' only in its 'stately-ness' (it's modeled for an owner-fave now-shuddered NC bar in the Outer Banks) and, thus, not so British at all. The name doth deceive.

But if you're looking for a just-right luxe lil lounge — minus the majesty masquerade and pomp and circumstance — we might just have stumbled upon it for you: the newest happening hot spot by Jason Howard — of Brooklyn Heights, (current) Rockford and Alphabet City (Chapel Hill) fame — to be added to the rapidly growing section of Hargett Street between Wilmington and Blount, book-ending the trifecta that includes Architect and London Bridge. But the apparent British-nod bookend is clearly strictly coincidental. While Beckham fanatics might be kicking it at the sloppy British soccer bar London Bridge (c'mon LB breathes for you to get your sloppy Euro soccer star on), they're putting their feet up on posh appointments (velvet wing backs and antler chandeliers, anyone?) or kicking their heels to live music (or a kick-ass playlist) at James.

Haven't heard of it? You will. James, despite his majestic mantra, is no doubt flying under the radar. Google it. You'll find nothing — short of a few Foursquare check-ins (people still use Foursquare?), a 'place' page from Facebook check-ins, directory listings, and, likely, now, this article. Kind of earns mad respect. When's the last time a bar opened without a major Internet presence in the age of social media? Whatever Howard's MO, his baby James has managed to bring an original concept to the city center, and is worth a stop-in … that is, if you're 25 and up. Yeah, there's always a catch (or bonus, depending on your perspective … no offense, young pubsters. You'll appreciate the same when you're old enough to rent a car.)

The Royal James

108 East Hargett St., Raleigh NC 27601

Where should I go next?
If you know a place that I should check out, tell me on Twitter @trianglerover.

Who is Red Rover?

I'm a late 20-something female living in and living up the Triangle since 2005. When I'm out, you can find me almost anywhere — pubs to clubs, lounges to music halls.

If you spot me, chances are I'm rocking some heels, though when the occasion arises I won't argue with something more comfortable. I'm no stranger to cocktails and wine, but a tall pint of local brew is where my compass usually points.

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