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.)