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May 23, 2009 06:23 PM

Dudley Chateau in Wayland now re-opened

For those of you CHOWS who are fans of the (in)famous Dudley Chateau (aka "The Chat"), you'll be pleased to know the pub is now reopened after a complete kitchen remodel and major housecleaning.

Currently a soft-opening menu which will be expanded to a full pub menu in 2 weeks. Full time chef (formerly at Blue Coyote/Maynard) for lunch and dinner. HUGE portions.....10oz angus burger....salads can feed two...panko coated onion rings easily shared by 4...excellent veggie burgers for those of that persuasion

For the past 4 years most of us regarded the menu to be slim jims and chips....and some nights not even that. The thought of now being able to take the kids for an early dinner is almost incomprehensible. Plus eight micro-brew style beers on tap with a solid selection of bottles. New plasma screen TV's in virtually every corner of the building. Credit cards accepted and WiFi if you need air cover during business hours !

Despite the new family friendly attitude, the character of the Chat remains the same. This still a small local neighborhood drinking establishment with the look and feel of a fisherman's hangout....and rightfully so. This was Ted Williams secret fishing and watering hole. And the place is still an"everyman bar" where tradesmen, tech geeks, soccer moms and hedge fund managers can blend together to watch the Sox and debate politics...all on equal footing.

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    1. re: trufflehound

      It's very complicated, but technically yes. Ken Phillips, a Natick lawyer and his wife Mandy are managing the Chat now.. and they're also funding the improvements.

    2. I remember being dragged here at night after a wedding years ago, loving the place and then wanting to go back, but never being able to find it again. Please! Where is it in Wayland?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Kat

        dudley rd of 27

        look forward to checking it out. haven't been in years. been going to da chat since high school and have had many friends who have bartended there over the years. at one time they made a good burger but this was always a beer and a shot and buy some drugs spot and always will be.

          1. re: pondrat

            That's the ticket; I'll tell TC we're going for drinks at "A tavern on the water"....

            1. re: galleygirl

              Sounds better than "The Pub on the Puddle"

        1. Okay, I can't believe TC and I haven't been. Sounds like a place we could afford to drink...Anything but burgers? (Not that a veggie burger wouldn't make me pretty happy...)

          1 Reply
          1. re: galleygirl

            My wife is a veg-head and she loved the grilled veggie burger. They also have salads...and some deep fried mac & cheese thing that I hear is excellent (albeit not from a cardiologist)

            Pabst Blue Ribbons on tap are $2.00

          2. Is this place in someone's basement?
            see attached photos...

            8 Replies
            1. re: galleygirl

              You have to ignore the siding and walk up a flight of stairs to get the full character.

              1. re: nsenada

                Er, (raising hand hesitantly) would one be able to order a glass of wine, or would one enjoy a similar fate?

                1. re: galleygirl

                  Wine is available but keep your winery and vintage expectations very low. To nsenada's point, you're not going to get anything that requires a bartender's guide or an umbrella. I have seen an occasional cosmo and martini. The high speed tours of the stairs are also a thing of the past as the crowd is now mellowing and self policing.

                  That said this is what famous writer Jim Atkinson called a "bar-bar". in his seminal work on serious drinking establishments, "A View from Nowhere".


                  You don't go for frilly drinks or fancy food...It's beer and pub-grub...and lots of it.

                  1. re: pondrat

                    I'm about as average a Joe as they come, but this place looked from the outside like it might be Fred Sanford's "Chateau". I wouldn't even venture out of my car. Is this place really open for business??? Growing up (in NY) there was this bar we went to that we only went to after dark - when I saw it in the light of day, it was pretty scary. Is that pretty much the story here?

                    1. re: Chowzmeister

                      Went last night for the first time and, aside from the lack of a/c, liked it. I don't know if the a/c was broken or if they simply don't have any, but you might want to call before heading there on a steamy night.

                      You have to have a sense of humor about the outside. There is more paint that's chipped off the building than is still on. Also, I climbed the stairs to what looked like the entrance, and when I got there, realized there was no knob or handle on the door. I wondered if you had to knock and give a secret code to get in. (The entrance is on ground level, to the right.)

                      Once inside and upstairs, it's just what a bar should be. Wood floors, stools, booths (two of which have a great view of the pond), lots of flat-screened TV's. There were more young folks there than I expected, mainly couples and groups of young men, with a couple of older blue collar guys having an afterwork beer and watching the Sox at the bar. The place was clean. There weren't many people there at dinner time, but it pretty much filled up later, around 9:00 on a Wednesday.

                      What surprised me was how good the food and service was. They were friendly, down-to-earth, eager-to-please, but unobtrusive. I had some great "gourmet onion rings", the breaded kind, which I don't usually like, but they were perfectly browned, hot, crispy and delicious. My DC had the turkey tips, grilled on a skewer, which he said were great. I tasted his margarita, and based on that, I'd stay away from cocktails here, although the bartender was helpful and pleasant. (They have no lemon or lime juice.)

                      Don't judge a chateau by its cover!

                      1. re: Chowzmeister

                        Chowmeister.....exactly the same as your NY experience...definitely don't judge this place by its exterior. The Chat has made an amazing comeback. Nice balance of young and older regulars. The college-aged crowd has rediscovered the place and it can be packed on some week nights.

                        Air conditioning is up and running fine as of last night.

                        The bar selection is expanding. I asked them to order Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and they started serving it last night as a summer selection. As pollystyrene said the customer service has improved dramatically. Would have never dreamed they'd have table service all but 6 months ago !

                        1. re: pondrat

                          Thanks for filling me in. You can't always tell a book by it's cover. Sounds like business is good. I guess it's one of those places that locals tend to go to and support. It's a little off the beaten track too, so regulars have the place all to themselves. I will head to the Chateau when in Wayland!

              2. Sorry to resurrect a year old thread, but I just had to comment. I remember seeing this thread, and completely ignoring it because I thought this was an outpost of the Chateau chain of mediocre Italian red-sauce restaurants that started in Waltham.

                Hoo boy, how happy I am to be wrong! Went to lunch there today, and was very pleasantly surprised. I love cool old dive bars, and this is about the coolest and one of the dive-y-est I've seen. The burger was very good (got the mini-chat - only $5 for a good sized but not ridiculously large burger plus fries). Got the burger cooked medium as requested. Hand shaped and still really juicy. Fries were the coated type, though my DC said past times that he's been there they weren't coated. (Assuming still frozen, but he said they were good.) So sounds like some inconsistency there. Wings were coated also, but were cooked extra crispy, with good basic Buffalo sauce. I'd order them again.

                Beer selection ranges from trashy chic ('Gansett and PBR) to local microbrews, with some Harpoon and Sam thrown in the middle.

                Can't believe I've lived and worked in this general area for 15 years and never knew about the 'Chat. I'm in love.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                  love The Chat ... its a new addition to ... good reason to check it out if you live in the Wayland area ... Dudley Chateau , the official sponsor of The Black Mariahs