Depending on what qualifies a dive, as a dive, to some, the lack of torn vinyl upholstery and the absence of stained drop-ceiling tiles may result in disqualification. However, The Dudley Chateau is old, wooden, and worn. The floors are uneven and the stairs are crooked. The waitresses are colorful complete with accents and attitudes. It is beloved by a town of working-class, salty New Englanders. Most of all, the Dudley Chateau is really hard to find, deeply hidden in a residential neighborhood. If you don’t already know the way, your only hope is a very reliable GPS or a fortunately timed beer delivery truck to guide the way. All things considered, The Dudley Chateau is unique, interesting, and certainly rough enough around the edges to warrant The Dive Bar Tourist review.
Known by locals as “The Shat” (spelled “The Chat”). The staff wear shirts reminding everyone to get “Chat Faced” (pronounced “Shat Faced”). Don’t yet get it? Just ask favorite server, Tracey, for any guidance on burgers, getting shat faced,or even local history. Any visit to The Chat is educational. This place has some colorful American history, built in 1920 as a private fishing lodge, turned into a speakeasy during prohibition, and then a hide-away, private men’s club frequented by notorious dive bar, day drinkers, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. Now, it’s a classic American dive bar with a relaxed, melting pot, fish-were-killed-here kinda vibe.
And, don’t let the French name fool you. The Dudley Chateau is not French, so skip the snails and forget the raw hamburger covered in uncooked egg. Instead, have a popular perfectly grilled Chat burger like the Mac Attacktopped with four-cheese macaroni and bacon, or the Warriorstuffed with blue cheese, or the Chat Taco Burger.
The Chat also has pub grub favorites like clam chowder, grilled cheeses, wraps, tacos, fries, and onion rings. Vegetarian and healthy options like salads, fish and chips, and The Chat Veggieburger are also on the menu.
Family-friendly with a kid’s menu. Local mother, Jackie, enjoys this place with her family. Jackie is a coach for basketball and volleyball and works with young girls like Brooklyn, the daughter of owners/managers, Kenny and Mandy Phillips. Kenny and Mandy have one bottom line: they would like everyone who comes up the Old Chat’s stairs to feel welcome. Thanks Jackie for recommending this great place to us!
The Chat also has live music, sports on Flatscreen HD TVs, darts, and KENO. Wi-Fi is FREE.
Grab a seat by a giant window for a great view of scenic Dudley Pond or slide onto a bar stool beside a local having a drink after work, buy him a beer, and ask him about history. He probably won’t punch you in the face and may even share a drunken bootlegger’s song or a tale of Babe Ruth on a bender. And make sure to ask to see the peephole before you leave. It’s historic.
Location: The Dudley Chateau – Wayland, MA
Be sure to try: The Chat Burger