Maplewood's only wine bar and shop held its grand opening this week in the space that previously held J & E's Office City. Chateau Maplewood (7326 Manchester Road)
is owned by the former general manager of Bar Les Freres, Brain Hobbs.
With Maplewood's restaurant scene only continuing to grow, Hobbs hopes to offer a place to enjoy a glass
of wine before or after dinner. The wines are all affordable because Hobbs believes that wine should be something you drink to make you happy and relaxed. He wants to build regular customers and make the shop a place to come and enjoy yourself.
As a wine expert, Hobbs assures you won't be left guessing which wine to buy. He's there to guide customers into a selection, and promises that the wines come from real winemakers and farmers with little to no manipulation.
Hobbs has been working with wine for fifteen years and has wanted to open his own wine bar since. When he found out that this location was on the market, he says, he had to have it.
"Maplewood is a place near and dear to my heart. There are so many independent businesses and it is a great community with walkability," he says. "I lived in New York for seven years and there is something special about walking down the street and meeting people. Maplewood feels just right."
Owner Brian Hobbs
Chateau Maplewood sells a handful of food items including cheese, meats, charcuterie, salads, desserts and more. This week goat and pork meatballs are featured. Still, the food is not the focus; Hobbs says wants to avoid competing with local restaurants.
Bar seating is available, as well as tables that come down from the wall almost like murphy beds. The shelves displaying the wine are made from maple wood — naturally.
Hobbs says the space is still a work in progress, saying communal tables will be installed in the middle of it. The tables will sit about 20 people and are perfect for get-togethers for many occasions. He also plans to host wine tastings with food pairings and other special events.
"A magical experience doesn't have to be expensive if it is done well. We want to be authentic and we want to have fun," says Hobbs.
Chateau Maplewood is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m to 9 p.m and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
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