Commercial Progress Report

Dean-O's Heads South

by Lisa Hanchey

Bertrand Road pizza joint opens on Kaliste Saloom RoadBy Lisa Hanchey
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bertrand Road pizza joint opens on Kaliste Saloom RoadBy Lisa Hanchey
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back in 1971, Dean Metcalf opened a small pizza place on Bertrand Drive called Dean-O's and launched a family tradition. His son, Tim, met his future wife, Karen, while she was working at the restaurant during high school. After marrying in 1981, the couple took over the business. Their son, Greg, later met his bride, Ashley, at the popular parlor. Since then, many a couple have met and married through Dean-O's. "It's a true family restaurant," Tim says. "You're a part of the family, and you're in the process of making a new family."

Now entering its fourth decade, Dean-O's is celebrating with the opening of its new south side location. Coincidentally (or not), Dean-O's South opened on Tim and Karen's 30th wedding anniversary, Sept. 19. Greg serves as general manager of the new location on Kaliste Saloom Road at the site of the former Casa Olé restaurant. "Our son was really hungry for his own restaurant," Tim says.

Dean-O's South features a menu almost identical to the Bertrand location's, with a couple of minor changes. The Metcalfs are leasing the space from former Casa Olé owner Jody Ferguson, a good friend of Tim's. For the past five years, the two were in negotiations for the well-trafficked location. This year, they came to terms for a lease-purchase agreement.

When the Metcalfs took over the space, they totally gutted it inside and out, leaving virtually no traces of its Mexican-themed predecessor. Everything is brand new, from the kitchen and bathrooms to the floors and walls. Brightly-colored paint and trim was recoated with soothing neutral tones. Booths were knocked out and replaced with tables and chairs. The bar was expanded and topped with a big-screen TV. Outside, the patio was converted to a climate-controlled space, allowing for open windows on pleasant days.

During the renovations, the Metcalfs eliminated the drive-thru window. Additionally, Dean-O's South installed a new CO2 and nitrous system running through the attic down to the drink machines.

Covering the wall between the main dining area and the party room is a massive mural of UL Lafayette's football stadium created by Todd Landry of Pixus Digital Printing. All of the artwork in the restaurant is Lafayette-themed. The Metcalfs used only local labor for the renovations, with C.M. Miciotto & Son Inc. overseeing as general contractor and the Mark Lalande Group as architect. "We are a Lafayette restaurant, and we are proud to be so," Tim says. "And, we're going to show it off in the restaurant."

Greg is running Dean-O's South, while Tim and Karen remain at the Bertrand restaurant. At the new location, Ashley will take over the administrative work, including payroll, taxes and quarterly reports. The Metcalfs also own a third restaurant, LA Seafood House, at 1917 Ridge Road in Duson. Tim and Karen work at the original Dean-O's every day, and also run LA Seafood. On a typical Saturday, Karen works at Dean-O's on Bertrand all day, then goes to LA Seafood House to do its computer and accounting. "That's going to be the biggest change for me, is having Greg here [Dean-O's South], not at [Dean-O's on Bertrand]," Karen says.

For the newest addition to their restaurant trio, the Metcalfs have hired 92 employees. Dean-O's South accommodates 250 patrons, compared to 300 at the Bertrand restaurant. A private dining room is available for parties and special events. Reservations are allowed for parties of 10 or more.

During October the Pizza of the Month is Cajun Samurai, which starts off with golden fried shrimp, glazed with zesty "yum-yum" sauce. It's served atop Dean-O's own olive oil crust, sprinkled with green onions, crunchy chow mein noodles and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Other specialty pizzas include the Cajun Executioner, a carnivore's delight with pepperoni, hot sausage and spicy shrimp flavored with fresh onions, bell peppers and jalapenos, and the Cajun Canaille (Mischievous Cajun), a blend of shrimp, Louisiana smoked sausage and jalapenos. Dean-O's also offers its famous cheese bread, salads, poboy/sandwiches, pastas, desserts and a Kids Menu. Ashley, a registered dietitian, contributed heart-healthy items to the menu, including the guiltless pizza.

"Our goal is to continue to serve the best quality food," Karen says.

Dean-O's South is located at 2312 Kaliste Saloom Road. Hours are: Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday, 10:30 to 9 p.m. The phone number is (337) 534-8092.