Matt Harlan of Chatty's Pizzeria to Open Chatty's Tavern in Grafton

"Other than adding a few cosmetic touches of our own, it’s really a turn-key operation.”

click to enlarge Former Jailhouse Tavern in Grafton to become Chatty's Tavern - Google Maps
Google Maps
Former Jailhouse Tavern in Grafton to become Chatty's Tavern

Two years ago this month, Matt and Melanie Harlan opened Chatty's Pizzeria (28611 Lake Rd., 440-471-4485) in Bay Village. The family-friendly restaurant serves hearty, approachable Italian foods like salad, pizza, sandwiches and dessert. To say that Chatty’s has been well received by the community since opening is an understatement.

“Things are going great,” says Matt. “We just signed a 15-year extension over there.”

When Harlan heard of a property for sale in Grafton Township, he and his wife decided to make the 40-minute drive south to check it out.

“We said, let’s go look at it as an opportunity and not as a need,” adds Matt. “We came in here and you could completely visualize the restaurant. It’s done perfectly. Other than adding a few cosmetic touches of our own, it’s really a turn-key operation.”

For eight years, the property was home to the Jailhouse Taverne, a popular eatery that closed following a long, contentious battle with the Township over outdoor live music. The previous owner invested a ton of money to rebuild the tavern after a fire destroyed the building in 2013.

Harlan plans to open Chatty’s Tavern, serving what he calls “standard tavern fare” with burgers, wings, sandwiches, entrees and, of course, pizza. In addition to that great “Grandma-style” pie that he serves in Bay Village, Harlan will add starters like hanky pankies, pork cracklings and smoked trout dip; sandwiches such as reubens, patty melts and Philly cheesesteaks; and entrees like fish and chips, chicken pot pie, grilled pork chops and a steak.

Despite its modest appearance from the street, the tavern seats 96 in the dining room, 20 at the bar, and another 72 on the large deck. What’s more, the building sits on a 3.5-acre parcel flush with mature trees and open seating areas that will be ideal for special seasonal events like pig roasts, lamb roasts and clam bakes.

Look for Chatty’s Tavern to open this spring.

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About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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