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“Don't hold your breath for service!!”

James Street Tavern
Ranked #2 of 3 Restaurants in Newport
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details
Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

Starving, my husband and I stopped in here on our way home from NJ since we were staying in Newport. They had a trivia game going with a guy behind a Mic, and the place wasn't overly crowded for a Thursday night. With the bar nearly empty we sat towards the end and waited about 5 minutes to even get the attention of our waitress who decided chatting up the trivia guy with her back towards the patrons was more important than her job. While waiting we researched other places to go but didn't feel like making the drive... So we sucked this one up. After we get her attention and place our drink order and request a menu, it takes us another 5 minutes to even get the beers with nary a menu in sight, my husband had to stalk her for a menu!! We ordered bruschetta to start off with which took about 10 minutes and a roast beef sandwich with a smothered chicken sandwich. Bruschetta was good, however I almost choked on my sandwich roll several times because it was very dry. I suspect they've been frozen and thawed over and over just from the texture and temperature. Will never make the mistake of coming here again. Seems like a very cliquish place just from watching the patrons.

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1  Thank Jenworkman81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (16)
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12 - 16 of 16 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2011

I have re-visited James Street a couple times recently during & after some interior expansion/renovations. I thought this is why the walls were so bare and all the drink special signs were gone. The place was not nearly as crowded as all of my former visits, and now I think I know why.

When we first arrived, we sat in the dining room with one other table, and were greated by the bartender who came from behind the bar. I ordered a Guinness draft and they were out. I asked about any beer specials and was told "no". This guy was about a 1 on the 1-10 friendly scale and acted like me having to choose another beer was a problem. This is a far cry from my service experience in the past year.

The menu has never been extensive but the first two items (Fish 'n Chips and Fish Tacos) we ordered, were not available. We settled for the Sausage & Pepper Sandwich, ridiculously priced a $9 for a good by scrawny sandwich. I had the Jumbo Buffalo Wings ($10) that tasted great, but 3 of the 8 wings were "jumbo" and the rest were very average.

Before I left, I made coversation with someone who worked here (not a waitress. not sure what she did) and asked her why the walls in the bar were not displaying any specials signs; where all the Newport memorabilia was; where the regular staff was; and if something had changed. She said "it's a new management company". Well, whatever actually changed at James Street, we were very very disappointed. I thought this place had stamped itself as the new community socializing place, but skip the overpriced menu item (if they are not out of it) and definitely avoid the miserable attitude of the service.

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1  Thank RoadTripper516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2011

Stopped in to take advantage of the $2 Guinness that was advertised. Turns out that that special only applied to Guinness Stout bottles - not draft Guinnesses - which were $5.50 for about 12 ounces. I had a chicken ceasar salad - served on ICEBERG lettuce and my husband ordered a burger, which was overpriced at $9. Needless to say it was a disappointment. The bar looked like a nice neighborhood bar - I'd skip the food, though...

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1  Thank PBeauchesne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2011

Went for dinner and they were out of a lot of items or items couldn't be fully prepared because of missing ingredients. At least 3 entrees not available, beers not available, desserts not available. It was an adventure in figuring out what they did have that we could order. I won't be going back anytime soon.

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1  Thank TimeToSpeakUp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2009

I like this place. James Street Tavern advertises itself to be "Upscale Dining without the price tag". I'm a split decision on that phrase. I've already been here three times in a week because it's a great place to watch sports on any of six huge plasma screens, enjoy very reasonable prices and unpretentiously friendly service. They have about 8 beers on tap like Guinness, 16, Samuel Adams and the national brands. Lots of specials such as a draught and six Buffalo wings with celery/bleu cheese for $5, $10 buckets of Miller Lite, 1/2 price burger days, and the "Fire Alarm" drink specials when/if the nearby firehouse siren goes off. The nachos were colorful and presentable served with chili and jalapenos. The calamari was OK, tender but not something that looked like it was fashioned in their kitchen, and their burgers were the frozen pattie variety but served with awesome Old Bay Steak Fries. Crabcakes (ordered one or two per serving) were Outstanding!

The service was great but I saw a bartender and an attractive waitress both shine wine glasses with their blouses on several occasions on one visit. That was kinda weird. It was entertainment for me. I wasn't drinking wine. I really enjoyed the place, and although I wouldn't call the cuisine "upscale", the interior is beautiful and a great place to save some money while having a nice time.

NOTE....They have a large outdoor porch with benches for smokers. It's enclosed with weather canopies and has music/TV audio piped outside.

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1  Thank RoadTripper516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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