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Restaurants & Bars

Dreamaway Lodge

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Dreamaway Lodge

Vanessa | May 31, 2000 12:54 AM

Read Jim's story about the Dreamaway Lodge on this site if you haven't.

This is about a more recent visit to the land of strange. In the summer of 1996, My husband and I were living in Pittsfield. Had heard about the Dreamaway from some good SF friends that had grown up in the area. Their descriptions of The Dreamaway made it sound like a most interesting place, and about the coolest weirdest place on earth. We couldn't wait to go, but nobody we met knew how to get there. They had heard of it, knew it was still open, and told us all sorts of stories about brothels, celebrities, music nights etc. that their parents had experienced. Strangly, nobody really seemed all that interested in checking it out. (our first clue we weren't staying there long.) At the time, nobody at the lodge ever answered the phone, and it was only open in the summer. We had to wait a whole year for our friends to visit from SF and show us where it was. It's past Becket on the edge of the State Forest west of Pittsfield. I wish I could remember which road. Anyway, we drove up there (about 1/2 hour from downtown Pittsfield) and it was dusk just as we arrived. Jim described it perfectly. There was sort of a mist around it and it looked very mysterious and a little scary, but somehow inviting. We walked in throught the screened-in slanting porch and felt like we were home. (at least not in the Berkshires). The bar was small and fronted with glass bricks with colored lights behind them. The bartender was a very friendly and hip young woman. On the right there was a room with cushioned benches and a stone fireplace and many strange objects and different types of musical instruments. Around the bar were pictures of the old sisters and mama with famous people. On the left was the dining room. All the tables and chairs were antiques. Some quite spectacular. Nothing matched. I can't say enough about all the weird stuff in the place. It's truly a museum along the lines of Graceland, only shabbier. Tag sale fanatics and lovers of the strange would be in heaven. The kitchen was sort of open and behind the bar. I think there were two other small groups of people that night, both finishing their dinners. Everyone working was very nice. The new owner, Daniel Osman, waited on us and cooked with the help of two other people. They all kind of pitched in and did everything. We found out he had just taken over from the sisters in the beginning of the summer. I think the story was that the one surviving sister was in the hospital and he had to visit her daily, and promise not to change the place in order for her to sell it to him. On that first visit, he didn't even own it yet, and was just running it turnkey style.
The food was served family style and was good and simple and fresh, although not the draw, even though this is one of the oddest and most wonderful places I've ever been in my life. The salad was fresh mixed field greens and herbs grown THERE in a simple vinaigrette. Then, we had penne with a cilantro pesto. Ok and fresh. Then, we had two choices: Meatloaf and mashed potatoes or Roasted chicken and roasted potatoes. We all had the chicken. It was good. Sunday dinner good. The dessert was the best: The simplest crisp made with fresh summer berries and served with vanilla ice-cream. All of our dinner plates were old souvenir State plates. Daniel and his staff couldn't have been nicer. By the time we were into our entree's there was nobody else in the place, except for somebody's old shepherd dog. That's where it got weird: We were done with dinner, and trying to decide whether to drink more wine or have coffee. The coffee station, a help yourself affair, had been pointed out to us. It was in a corner of the room near a large window. The dog had been lying there silent, still, and incredibly old, all evening. Suddenly, the dog started freaking out. Barking, whining, running AWAY from his little corner. I swear to all of you that our entire party looked over there and saw a misty person- shaped thing in the corner. Really, all six of us saw it. My husband, a huge believer in the supernatural, walked over and swore up and down that it was freezing ass cold in that corner. I believe him, but none of us were willing to corroborate. We went back two more times before we moved away, and had several conversations with employees there. They weren't renting out rooms upstairs, but some of the employees lived there, and wouldn't stay in certain rooms, because they were haunted. They were very matter-of-fact about it. This may sound far fetched to some, but the experience and the later conversations with the people living there were incredibly real and plausible. This place must be seen and experienced, as it cannot really be described. I'm quite sure the sisters and the old mama are watching out. Heard somewhere they were gypsies and incredibly powerful women. Don't know how true it is, but Jim's story seems to point to something of the sort.

On our last visit, we met a nice older couple at the bar. Turns out that they live in the town that we were moving to (and live in still) Huge coincidence if you think of the size of this town (10,000), and the distance from Pittsfield, (at least 3,000 miles). They are Daniel's Aunt and Uncle. We see them every now and then, and they report that the place is doing well, and that he has redone the kitchen, but beyond that, I'd like to know what is up. Who's cooking? What are they cooking? Is the place still oddly compelling and weirdly charming or has it becoming a curiosity or worse, a trend? I hope not and doubt it. Daniel seemed to want to restore it to it's former strange glory. Anyone been there recently?

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