I have to admit my knowledge of Deansboro is pretty sketchy. I mostly drive through the Oneida County hamlet on my to New Hartford and the Commercial Drive shopping area.
Wife L and I did stop at the Deansboro Hotel after one of those Saturday afternoon trips last year, and we saw a band out of Utica that was pretty good. Every face in the place turned as we walked in, but we were made welcome members of the audience soon after the beers were ordered.
I don’t know what it says about me that I’ve been there and have yet to visit the Berry Hill Book Shop that folks have been telling me about for a while, but I keep passing the shop at the wrong times or just miss it altogether, it being tucked just south of Deansboro on Route 12B. It is open, I found out from a quick phone call, from 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday. I’ll make it there one day.
We did make it this Saturday to Joan’s Country Cafe, also on Route 12B. From the outside it is an unassuming place on the east side of the state road, but it was a pleasant surprise as we walked in to find a cheery atmosphere and lots of laughter filling the restaurant.
A large group had the round corner table locked down, and a few groups of snowmobilers filled other tables. A trail runs right behind the restaurant, close by the old Deansboro railroad station. We had a good breakfast for $12. I couldn’t even finish my three huge pancakes, and Wife L’s eggs and hash left her happy.
Nothing too glamorous here, but good portions at good prices, and a good feeling throughout.
Afterward we drove just a bit north and stopped at the Queen Bee Garden and Gift Shop, which opened just this past October and is run by Susan Castle. Her husband, Dean White, runs White’s Pottery, which is next door.
We had a nice chat with Dean as he minded the Queen Bee for his wife for a couple hours that morning.
He explained that the Queen Bee has not only their handmade crafts for sale, but the offerings of about 12 other local artisans. There were some beautiful pieces of jewelry and pottery, gorgeous wooden walking sticks, candles and soaps, garden sundials, herbal teas, lavender, and more.
Perennials and more garden supplies promise to be on display in the spring, which can’t come too soon.