Deke’s serves up barbecue favorites
Shurs Lane restaurant closes doors, but Ridge Avenue takeout location remains open
WISSAHICKON >> Whether it’s a rack of ribs, a brisket sandwich or barbecue wings you are thinking about for dinner tonight, Deke’s is the place for takeout.
Deke’s prepares slow cooked barbecue, which is primarily sourced from local, artisan purveyors. The cuts used tend to be tougher “joint” cuts like shoulders and hips. The longer cooking time helps break down the fats and collagens in the meat, which tenderizes and moisturizes as it gradually cooks. Three sauces offered are: Deke’s Straight-Up Q, Carolina Red and Triple X. All are made from scratch and start with ripe tomatoes. All meats are cooked over hard wood coals, not directly over a flame. The wood is locally sourced as well, usually from oak, ash and maple.
Deke’s is named after its owner, Derek Denmead. Deke was Derek’s nickname as a child. His grandfather was Zeke, and since his name was Derek, everyone called him Deke. Deke’s wife, Jackie McBeth, aka “Mrs. Deke,” works with him in the business.
Both Deke and Jackie, who currently live in Roxborough, worked in the catering/event planning industry. Back in the summer of 2010, Derek left his job, while Jackie continued working in Atlantic City.
“He spent a few months at the shore with my family, bouncing ideas off of them, designing a menu, creating a dry rub and came up with all his recipes for the items on the menu,” Jackie said.
Deke also bounced this idea off of J.P. Boles, who owned the Ugly Moose, a bar and restaurant at 443 Shurs Lane. Boles gave them the opportunity to join forces with him and create BBQ out of the garage space connected with the Ugly Moose. Deke bought his first pit and began smoking meats on weekends to give out as samples to guest at The Garage. A month later, Boles gave them the keys to the garage.
“Deke and a few family members and friends changed the décor inside,” Jackie said. “On Oct. 1, 2010, the name was officially Deke’s BBQ. And the rest is history, as they say.”
Jackie said she was a bit nervous entering the restaurant industry, but she supported her hus--
band. She finally left her job in Atlantic City in 2012 and could not be happier.
“The people that I have met at Deke’s have become great friends and amazing supporters of our barbecue,” she said.
Some of the favorites at Deke’s are the ribs, pulled pork, brisket and macaroni and cheese, just to name a few. Customers also loved the all-you-can-eat Buffet.
“Deke worked hard each week, coming up with new dishes and different kind of mac and cheese for the buffet,” Jackie said. “It was always a surprise for the buffet fanatics.”
In 2014, Deke and Jackie purchased the old Tommy Gunn’s and opened up their carryout and catering location at 4901 Ridge Ave.
The Shurs Lane restaurant was recently sold to a
“We are proud to be serving the residents of Philadelphia the barbecue they deserve because we know Philly knows good eats.”
— Jackie McBeth
local developer, who will be building townhomes on the site, causing Deke’s to close the doors to its sitdown spot May 13. But Deke’s will still be in the neighborhood with the Ridge Avenue location. The owners said they are hoping to be back with a sitdown location with the allyou- can- eat buffet by the end of the year.
“We are proud to be serving the residents of Philadelphia the barbecue they deserve because we know Philly knows good eats,” Jackie said. “We at Deke’s have all the logistical and cooking stuff fig- ured out, so all we need now is to share this experience with you.”
Look for Deke’s at the Ventnor, N.J., farmers market every Friday from 8:30 to noon through Sept. 1.
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Jackie McBeth stands alongside Khalief Durham outside of Deke’s BarB-Que.
Jackie McBeth stands with Khalief Durham in front of Deke’s Bar-B-Que.
Favorites on the menu at Deke’s Bar-B-Que include the ribs, brisket, pulled pork andmacaroni and cheese.
Deke’s Bar-B-Que has a takeout location at 4901Ridge Ave., Wissahickon.