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St James Gate Olde Irish Pub
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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
207 Wolf St, PO Box 2498 Stn Main
, T1L 1C2
phone: (403) 762-9355
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
In the beginning for me a stop off in Banff was always topped off by a pint at the second storey Rose & Crown, down the street from this establishment. These days however, if I'm craving a pint after a hike, or during a jaunt out to Banff, the St. Jame's Gate is my regular stop, and where I steer most people to when asked, especially the small horde of visiting relatives of my local British friends.
The atmosphere is a similar layout to most higher end Irish-type pubs owned by the same people in Calgary, and in Edmonton as well I'd suspect. Wood finish, lots of different sections which breaks up the establishment into different parts, but keeps it feeling like a large space in the end. The huge bar in the centre also contributes to maintaining a nexus to the whole lay-out, a long row of identical taps along the east and west sides of it to cater to a full house with ease. The best draught selection to be found in Banff, that's for sure. They also take pride in their selection of whiskey's as well.
The beer selection is average for the province, yet great for a pub in a National Park, and typical for the type of establishment and what you'll find at a place with the same owners anywhere's else. The usual British Isle's imports, a few Continental European imports, and some regional micros's as well, along the lines of Big Rock, Wild Rose, Sleeman, and the rare Yukon Brewing's Arctic Red Ale tap in Alberta. That's what I usually get, or a Kronnenberg from France if I'm feeling like a lager.
The quality of the food is well above average for pub fare, I've enjoyed everything I've sampled there for the past 7-8 years or so, and also taking into consideration the transient nature of employees within Banff National Park. The service and knowledge of beer, on the other hand, is hit and miss due to the same circumstances. Servers come and go at a more accelerated rate within Banff, and I've found on many occassions that knowledge of their bar stock, let alone professional courtesy and service, runs the spectrum at times. Depending on where you sit it may take quite a while before you get noticed and attended to, so try to stay out in the open and in plain sight (wink wink). Actually that's my game plan for any pub laid out like this.
If you find yourself in Banff for whatever reason and are craving a pint, this is the place to end up at.
09-06-2005 17:05:45 |
More by IronDjinn
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I was here on two weeknights in late May. Spacious dark wood pub in downtown Banff with a laid back atmosphere and good beer selection. 30+ on tap, mix of standard Canadian beers plus some British & Irish stuff along with a few micros (like Wild Rose). Lighting was kept pretty low with Celtic style music playing at reasonable level that still allowed conversation. A few TVs scattered about around the bar. Ate at the bar one of the nights. The service was attentive and the food was rather tasty (some Irish potato dish). Definitely my favorite place to kick back with a pint in Banff.
07-06-2005 03:28:33 |
More by banker
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
For me, a stay in Banff feels somewhat incomplete if I do not make a stop at St James' Gate pub. I immediately was taken with the atmosphere of the place: it almost compared to some actual British/Irish pubs I had been to in the UK. Purportedly the bar itself is a 100+ year old piece brought directly from a pub in Ireland. A rather low level of lighting, dark wood everywhere, private booths, the walls adorned with old pictures of pubs, glass windows with advertisements for all sorts of early 20th century British products, and a clientele base there simply to enjoy a few pints without getting too loud. Also, you are likely to find Australians, Brits, Japanese and Chinese, Germans, and a mass of other nationalities, come to visit the Alberta Rockies. This makes it easy to start up a warm conversation. Most weekends there will be a musical group playing around 7 to 12 or so. When we went last it was a Calgary funk band named "Urban Divide." Celtic music is also played here quite regularly. The quality of the place and the beer is excellent. The waitresses are attendant and friendly, and every time I have gone, it has always been a waitress; I am not sure if there are any waiters, only behind the bar. They are quick to notice your empty glass and quick to bring your refill. The selection is very good, with 30 to 40 draught beers, including Arctic Red from the Yukon, and 3 or 4 Wild Rose brews, and extensive import craft beers. Most definitely the largest on-tap selection anywhere in the Banff National Park. They also do their best to serve a beer in its proper glass, though usually this means a pint glass. The food is not exactly traditional pub food all round, although they do specialise in some form of Irish potato dish. I have never had a bad meal, or appetizer here, and several of the appetizers, like the green beans in some sort of hot sauce, were extraordinary. Definitely above-average pub food. This makes a perfect place to stop when you have been walking through Banff all day, and it is located in the centre of town; ideal, if you are staying the night. This is the perfect place to end your day in or around Banff, if you have been boarding or skiing, or simply visiting the city.
12-15-2004 08:07:55 |
More by Cwrw
St James Gate Olde Irish Pub in Banff, AB, Canada