The St. James Place is a bar I've wanted to get to for a while now. Located two or three blocks off of the bustle of East Carson, the St. James is a bar you want to find yourself at if you're in the south side but want to avoid the Friday night "Jersey Shore" watching crowd.
The bar is essentially broken up into two rooms, one that houses the bar and another room that holds the pool table, dart board and some open space that doubles as a stage if a band is performing.
While not jammed, the place certainly wasn't slow; yet I never had to wait for a drink, even with only one bartender (that I noticed, at least) on duty. If she was in the middle of a conversation with another patron (most certainly one of the many apparent regulars there) she'd finish her thought and come over and grab what I needed. This in contrast the places where the bartender will have a five minute conversation with someone whilst oblivious to the small mass of people waiting for another round with ever diminishing tips in hand.
The bar had a small selection of drafts, none of which were local or regional brews. From my best recollection, they were all something lites and Blue Moon. However, in their coolers, they had a better selection of bottles. There was nothing exotic, but definitely enough there to ensure everyone could find something they enjoy. For comparison, the bottles of Woodchuck I had were $3.75. I noticed they also had a small food menu containing the staple of tavern foods; however, I wasn't there to eat, and couldn't tell you about the quality or flavor.
In all, I found the place to be fairly clean and well maintained. They had a guy or two walking around to grab the empty bottles that were left abandoned on tables or rails. The air was void of any funky smells, and walls and floors seemed to be regularly washed.
A big plus goes to jukebox volume. This place didn't have the speakers cranked up to 11. It isn't a nightclub and the volume reflected that. I could rock out to a song if need be, while still having a conversation with the person next to me.
The main letdown was the bathroom. Mainly, the toilet was broken, and from the look of the garbage bag covering it, had been for some time. If my needs were more than a urinal could handle, I'm not sure what I'd end up doing. Simply put, having a bar and not having a working toilet for half the patrons, even for one night, is not acceptable.
While a broken toilet will lower my rating, it won;t stop me from taking a return trip to the St. James Place. No toilet next time though, and who knows...