James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, Pittsburg, PA

James St. Speakeasy

Plan on checking out the James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy next time you’re in Pittsburg, Pennsylvannia.  We discovered this cool place just a short walk from our hotel (The Priory – more about that later) on James Street, of course! Nice decor with lots of photo’s and paintings of jazz greats on the wall – the menu’s are inserted in old jazz record albums. Mine was Hubert Laws and Steve’s was The Best of Lester Young – neat idea. We both ordered the grilled chicken wings and a side of collard greens braised with pork – only in America. Generous servings and good to boot. They offer over 100 craft beers – we ordered a local beer, brewed in Pottsville, PA, called Yuengling – thumbs up. The Speakeasy is in the basement – very reminiscent of the prohibition days – they serve up live jazz & blues bands in the evenings. The restaurant is on the main floor which consists of a formal side and a casual lunch/bar side. The top floor has a banquet hall and on Friday nights they have swing dancing with a live swing band – does it get any better?? $5 cover includes a dance lesson from 7-8, then the band comes on from 8-11pm. We arrived promptly at 7,  our instructors, Lisa & Nick, taught the group a dance from the 30’s (?) called the Jitterbug – cool. Jitterbug is very similar to East Coast Swing (which is what we know). There were young people as well as people our age and beyond! We had a blast – the band, the James Street Swing Band, was outstanding and the dancers were great. We danced to almost every single song the entire night – whew! Nice time indeed. I look forward to coming back real soon to check out some local jazz and more swing dancing!