Deke’s serves up bar­be­cue fa­vorites

Shurs Lane res­tau­rant closes doors, but Ridge Av­enue take­out lo­ca­tion re­mains open

The Review - - Front Page - By Les­lie Feldman

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.

Know a busi­ness in the Roxbor­ough/Manayunk/ East Falls area you think should be fea­tured in The Re­view’s Lo­cal Busi­ness Spot­light? Email ed­i­to­rial@mont­ with your sug­ges­tion.


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.

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