Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

The Busy Bee Cafe is Buzzing

<em>Looking through the front enterance window</em>.

Looking through the front entrance window.

My first visit to The Busy Bee Cafe was just a couple weeks after its opening in April of this year, and I instantly fell in love! When I first walked into the newly renovated building I was instantly impressed with the trendy, rustic decor. I sat at the downstairs bar and ate a blue cheese burger and drank a glass of Malbec red wine, which where both fantastic. I have since been back at least once a week, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every visit.

View from Wilmington Street.

View from Wilmington Street.

The Busy Bee Cafe, located at 225 Wilmington Street, opens bright and early at 6am Monday through Friday and 7am Saturday and Sunday. They are open early for the downtown workers to stop in, and start their day with a fresh cup of coffee and breakfast bites. By 11 am Busy Bee begins it’s full menu and service, which  is available until closing at 2am. On Friday and Saturday nights The Hive, the upstairs bar and patio, becomes a very trendy live music scene. The restaurant seems to suit everyone’s agenda from open to close.

Downstairs view of The Busy Bee Cafe.

Downstairs view of The Busy Bee Cafe.

Penny and one of her friends enjoying a beer and hanging out.

Penny and one of her friends enjoying a beer and hanging out.

The Busy Bee offers a simple, affordable and fresh menu!  I learned from one of the wait staff that the ingredients on the menu are local! I was very impressed and delighted. The Chef, Jeremy Clayman, has impressed me with his elegant twist on the simple and affordable menu. One of the most unique items on the menu, that I have tried, is the bruschetta. The bruschetta isn’t like your traditional tomato, basil and mozzarella. Instead, Chef Clayman has come up with a goat cheese, mandarin, and beet bruschetta. It does sound very different, but I must commend the Chef on a wonderful combination of flavors. I am a big bruschetta fan, and this version is very tasty!

Jenny Schade and Julia Swinn having fun at work in The Busy Bee.

Jenny Schade and Julia Swinn having fun at work in The Busy Bee.

Another highlight of this place is the beer selection. Downstairs they have a nice selection of beers on tap from an Avery IPA to a locally brewed Aviator Berliner Weiss. Upstairs you will find a different selection of beers on tap; such as the Foothills Hefenweizen brewed in Winston-Salem, and the French Broad Kölsch brewed in Asheville, North Carolina.

Angled shot looking into the downstairs area.

Angled shot looking into the downstairs area.

A view of the upstairs bar located at The Hive.

A view of the upstairs bar located at The Hive.

The upstairs patio, located in The Hive, is definitely the coolest patio in town! Sitting on the patio at night with the crisp air, slight breeze, and glowing lights from the surrounding buildings, makes for the perfect relaxing experience!  On the weekends, The Hive is packed with people dancing to the music and socializing on the patio. Everyone seems to love the atmosphere, great beer selection, and fun service staff.

People dancing to the Dj's music on a Friday night, at The Hive.

People dancing to the Dj's music on a Friday night, at The Hive.

Chris Ragland working at The Hive on a busy Friday night.

Chris Ragland working at The Hive on a busy Friday night.

The employees that I have spoken to seem to love their job at The Busy Bee Cafe and The Hive. The staff is personable, fun and inviting! The co-owner Woody seems like a down to earth guy, and the staff agrees he is a great boss. As someone who works in the service industry myself, I know that a good work environment makes the experience that much better for the guests. I feel very comfortable when I visit The Busy Bee, and I always enjoy conversation with the staff!

A view of the outside patio on a busy Friday night.

A view of the outside patio on a busy Friday night.

All in all, I have to say that The Busy Bee Cafe is a hands down awesome place! From the food and beer, to the atmosphere, to the staff, and the live music scene…it’s just the coolest new place in town. If you haven’t taken the time to stop in, you are missing out!


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