Our history with Deano's stretches way back to November of 2006 (KOTBR #6) - a time so far back that Deano's served as our formal introduction to IPAs. Far from just a wine bar, Deano's was on the city's forefront of bringing a good variety of craft beer to thirsty visitors. HBG founder Chris - never a stranger to enthusiasm - had this to say back then:
The atmosphere is fantastic, the staff are super-friendly and very knowledgeable, the beer list is out of this world, and the food is pretty damn good, too. If you haven't been there yet, I say this is THE essential new restaurant/bar in the 317 to check out. I can promise that many more reviews from the KOTBR will come to you from Deano's.His "more reviews to come from Deano's" statement was certainly accurate - we eventually roundtabled at Deano's another seven times, making it the location we've visited most when reviewing a beer.
This isn't to say that Deano's was without flaws - the friendly, but more than casual attitude of the staff was sure to put off those who weren't regulars. The food, while tasty, may have been overpriced. The loss of ownership partner / wine guy / excitement magnet Deano Wilson certainly wasn't a good sign.
It was hard not to notice that the folks who had been regulars slowly trickled off - be it the newer competition in the neighborhood or just the loss of a vibe - but each consequent visit seemed a little sadder - like visiting a dying friend in a hospital. The bar tried a name change and a menu tweaking, but it was hard to ignore the wine bottles coming off the walls and the beer menu shrinking. Once the stench of failure set into the place it seemed like it was only a matter of time.
It was a sad finish for a place that always treated us well. Our first anniversary party at Deano's was our introduction to our audience, and it was at Deano's that we gave our only ever perfect beer score. Deano's was our default New Year's party location, and the first bar that I ever felt like a regular at. I wish more people would have seen it the way we did. The good times we shared won't soon be forgotten.
Our thoughts go out to the staff and ownership - it was a good run, and here's hoping greener pastures await you.