Overlooking the train tracks in Needham, The James is a modern pub offering cold pints and warm hospitality to hungry travelers of all stripes. And while they don’t claim any national affiliation, fans of English, Irish, and American pubs will feel right at home with the low ceilings, tall beers, and just enough innovation to keep the tradition from feeling tired. Whether you’re in the mood to belly up to the bar or sink into a banquette in the corner, you’re bound to feel like a local in no time.
If you’re dropping by for more than a pint, the menu offers elevated comfort food in four categories—Bites, Small, Larger, and Sides. Featuring local produce in presentations both old and new, from American charcuterie to inventive spins on worldly ingredients, The James is a place where foodies and traditionalists can come together. The larger selections are hearty pub-style meals, from meat pies to burgers and fries, that will leave you feeling satisfied. And while it changes with the seasons, there are some staple favorites on the menu that’ll probably never come off (at risk of violence by the regulars).
Patterned wallpaper and chintzy photos on the walls create a homey, eclectic vibe. Candles on the plain hardwood tables lend a little ambiance to the otherwise simple space. The room is close and warm and dimly lit, lined by banquettes with a small bar lit by a single shaded lamp.
Like any good local pub, the back bar at The James is overcrowded with bottles. They’ve got an impressive selection of whiskeys, from Irish to American, with plenty of Scotch getting dusty on the top shelf. The beer list features a roundup of the usual suspects, with crafty locals sharing space with pub classics (yes, they have Guiness on draught). And if you’re in the mood for more than a boilermaker, the bartenders are fully equipped to whip you up a crafty cocktail.
1027 Great Plain Avenue
Needham, MA 02492