When Dan Deagan recently parted ways with Demetrios Atheneos, the chef of his Lakewood eatery Deagan's Kitchen & Bar, he was hoping to find a replacement to maintain the status quo. Instead, he scored a veteran chef who not only ran kitchens but also multiple restaurants simultaneously.
"Originally we wanted a chef to come in, keep most of the menu and just tweak a few things," Deagan explains. "But Tim Bando is such a talented chef that it will be more like keep a few things and change everything else."
When Tim Bando joins Deagan's, he'll bring with him decades of experience that stretches clear back to the days of Piccolo Mondo, where he worked with Michael Symon. Bando followed Symon to Caxton Café, which later gave way to stints at Moxie, Theory and others. More recently, Bando was chef-partner at Exile and The Meeting House in Amagansett, New York, and Tremont in the West Village, which was a semi-finalist for a James Beard Best New Restaurant award.
Since returning with family to Cleveland a few months ago, Bando has been working at Crop Bistro.
"After running the entire show, it's hard for me at this point going into a restaurant and not being used to my full potential," Bando says of his decision to move on. "When Deagan's became available, I knew it was great fit."
Once Bando takes over in a couple weeks, diners will begin to see some changes on the menu. But the culinary spirit of the restaurant will definitely stay the same. Diners can look forward to an ever-shifting palette of small plates, an approach Bando used to full potential out east. Asian influences will give way to Mediterranean flavors.
While too early to know for sure, the chef says he's toying with the idea of adding Eastern European small plates to go with the stellar craft beer menu.
"I'll certainly put my own interpretations on some of the things they're doing now," adds Bando.