Busy Bee Now Open

Busy Bee Now Open

The Hive

April, 05, 2009, by Ladye Jane

Advertise on NR

After a successful weekend of friends and family nights, the Busy Bee has now opened to the public for business! With breakfast and coffee beginning at 6am, the Bee has something for every time of day till 2am. The prices are great, the menu is stellar. Be sure and try the gnocchi and fried green tomatoes, they are delish! Check out their website here.


Hummus $5
Extra virgin olive oil, flat bread

Bruschetta $4
Beets, goat cheese, orange

Calamari $6
Lemon, herbs, sun-dried tomato, remoulade

Tofu $5
tzatziki, feta, scallion

NC Cheeses $11
Almond, marmalade, gastrique


Nicoise Tuna $9
Fingerling, olive, egg, bell pepper

Baby Green $7
Brie, orange basil balsamic, walnuts, dried cranberry

Frisee $7
Creamy herb, melon, pancetta

Arugula $7
Sherry vinaigrette, dried cherry, goat cheese

Caesar $6
Romaine, parmesan, lemon, black pepper


Shaved Ham $8
Black bean, pineapple, frisee

American Burger $8
American cheese, fried onion, lettuce, tomato

Sacre Bleu Burger $8
Bleu cheese, marinated tomato

Tom & Jack Burger $8
Pepper jack, fried green tomato

Grilled Chicken $8
Pear, honey, basil

ChickenSalad $6
Apple, celery, egg

Turkey   $8
Avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato

Fish & chips $8
Flounder, potato, malt vinegar

Veggie $7
Tomato, squash, roasted pepper


Fries and malt aioli $3

Fried green tomatoes $4

Tater tots $2

Macaroni and cheese $4


Organic Chicken $12
Hoppin john, jus

Shrimp and Grits $11
Andouille, bell pepper, etc.

Pork $13
Fennel, apple, celery

Steak Frites $14
Flank steak, fries

Gnocchi $11
Chorizo, scallion, marinated tomato, asiago

Tomato Risotto $8
seasonal garnish


Denver Omelet $7
Ham, peppers, onion, cheese

Steak and Eggs $10

See the Busy Bee {categories show="257|236|256|96" show_group="9" limit="1"}{category_name}{/categories} page.

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OpeningsBusy Bee


  • TheWaveLife
    04/06 10:42 AM


  • Brian Smith
    04/06 11:04 AM

    What a reasonably-priced and interesting sounding menu. Can’t wait to try!

  • early riser
    04/06 11:12 AM

    The 6AM open is a brilliant idea. I wish Morning Times and Helios would take note.

  • sarah
    04/06 11:45 AM

    yay! I am going for lunch!

  • T-Plain
    04/06 11:49 AM

    I can not wait to check it out!

  • Jerimee
    04/06 12:53 PM

    The Bruschetta beets are delicious!

  • Christian
    04/06 01:45 PM

    Wow, looks awesome! I am particularly excited about the reasonably priced entree selections. Also, who can seriously pass up tater tots for $2? I’m sure I will find my way there one night this week, and will post my thoughts shortly thereafter over on Vino Mundo: http://vinomundo.blogspot.com

  • Carver
    04/06 01:51 PM

    Had the Grilled Chicken sandwhich for lunch and was very satisfied! GOOD STUFF!!

  • Hollis
    04/06 02:50 PM

    Oh wow - just came from there. Such a warm environment, awesome floor plan, friendly staff and great prices. So happy to have this addition to downtown – love that it is on Wilmington St. and opening up the flow of nighttime/daytime traffic from Hargett and Fayetteville. Way to expand downtown! Will surely become a regular stop of mine.

  • Jenna
    04/06 03:05 PM

    You had me at “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

  • drsulliv
    04/06 05:02 PM

    does anyone know if the rooftop patio is open yet?

  • Brian
    04/06 05:43 PM

    The rooftop is open after 2pm in general, but there probably won’t be food service up there today due to the weather.

  • cabbeygo
    04/06 05:48 PM

    Went to the soft opening and the food was a-ma-zing! Bruschetta with goat cheese, beets and orange - awesome. Tofu - terrific. Arugula salad with goat cheese - so good. Fish and chips sandwich…the fish and the chips are already together on the sandwich - loved it! Seriously, it’s a beautiful place, the rooftop is great and there are some awesome people working over there. Check it out!

  • Micah
    04/06 06:45 PM

    What is wrong with the weather today?

  • North_Raleigh_Guy
    04/06 07:47 PM

    Awesome! Can’t wait to check this place out!

  • Joshua
    04/06 08:48 PM

    their american burger is the best burger i’ve had downtown…
    and the staff is great. beautiful space. welcome addition to raleigh!

  • mgd
    04/06 08:48 PM

    My new favorite bar.  Shrimp and grits was really good and they have beers that arent common in Raleigh.

  • CD2
    04/06 08:52 PM

    nice job david and chris this place is what other downtown places want to be. the roof top is the best in Raleigh. AS a smoker I like the non-smoking thing my wife will love the clear air. I can go outside or up on the roof.The beer is great with a wide choice Thanks to Chis for the tour of the roof top. I wil be back soon.
    Peace Out CDD2

  • JMo
    04/06 10:19 PM

    Just came from there - the food is delightful and the ambiance is stellar. Well done!

  • Dave
    04/07 12:12 AM

    Not talking about other cities Joe.  Talking about Raleigh.

  • smitty
    04/07 01:09 AM

    While Joe is being a bit of an ass, it is rather disturbing to me the level of ADD with regard to restaurants in the DT area.  It seems like all of the old haunts are quickly forgotten in a matter of a few years.

  • mgd
    04/07 01:23 AM

    LOL I wonder why he is worried about what other cities are doing last I checked is a news site called NEW RALEIGH.  Im not sure but the words New and Raleigh together somewhat indicates the nature of this website. 

    Joe try it out you might like it.  If not they like DB next door!

  • JT
    04/07 10:03 AM

    That’s the nature of business in this day and age, you have to be in the forefront of peoples minds to be considered.  It’s the same with music and TV as well.  There are so many alternatives unless you build up a core of loyal customers people more to the next “new” thing.

  • T-Plain
    04/07 10:25 AM

    I think Raleigh can support *good* new places. Yeah, every time a place is rumored to be opening the blog comments look like a room full of 6-year-olds on Xmas Eve, but the ones that don’t impress once they’re open will fall by the wayside. I was excited this weekend to try a certain recently-opened establishment that shall not be named, and they disappointed.

    New places need to step their game up to survive, and that is great for customers.

  • Victor
    04/07 11:55 AM

    Had lunch there yesterday. It was awesome.

  • arthurb3
    04/07 11:55 AM

    Well, It was ok. The decor is nice. The waiter was nice. I had the pork -$14 for alittle slice on some corn and celery. It didn’t have much flavor and our diet cokes were flat. I will have to go back and try something from the other side of the menue before my final opinion. Otherwise, it was full of the usual trendy 20/30 year old trendy somethings trying to be hip and cool.

  • gd
    04/07 03:16 PM

    So if the rendy 20/30 year olds were there to be “cool and hip” and not check it out and try the food…why were you there? Trying to be cool as well?  That added nothing to your ‘review’.  More or less makes you sound mad/angry/frustrated about seeing people have fun… <shrug>

  • joe
    04/07 03:23 PM


    I don’t think arthur is mad about people having fun, just making a social observation.  Look, Raleigh people seem to have a problem with someone having a criticism, while other cities are comfortable enough in their skin to roll with it and play off it.  The point is it seems Raleigh seems to be caught up in things you buy to bring enjoyment/pleasure/happiness without adding soul to the heart of the city.  New restaurants are great, but they do not make a vibrant city.

  • arthurb3
    04/07 03:54 PM

    Thanks Joe. What I meant was - Its much of the same. Not much different than any other new place downtown. If you took a blind person to The Times, Busy Bee, ect, they couldn’t tell they had been to different establishments or if they had just moved to a different table in the same place.

  • bb
    04/07 03:56 PM

    I second Joe’s observation.  I like this site, and appreciate the service it provides.  But any sort of criticism of these new places is attacked immediately.  Posters on this site would be doing a much better service to the industry and area if they provided objective critiques alongside all the hype.  That said some hype is good, restaurants are a good start to making DT Raleigh both a destination and a well rounded place to live.  Now if just one mainstream retail shop would take a chance this area might really take off.

  • MR
    04/07 04:22 PM


  • GD
    04/07 04:30 PM

    It’s one thing if its said now and then by a poster and not every time something opens up.  I mean why call someone “trendy” if you don’t know them or whatever.  Who do you expect to go out?  Obviously the people who want to see this city thrive.  I guess I’ll join that “trendy” crowd or whatever- it sure beats being a complainer all the time.

  • Plaza Princess
    04/07 05:14 PM

    Had Breakfast and Lunch there and plan another trip for afternoon cocktails before the week is out!  Who can say no to Tater Tots!!  Awesome enviroment! Can’t wait to see the city from the hive with beer in hand…

  • mgd
    04/07 05:32 PM

    I heard Old Navy is moving in!

  • why
    04/07 05:33 PM

    Arthur, once again you couldn’t be more wrong about your assessment.  Are you that narrow?  You can’t tell the difference between food made with quality bread and meat vs. hfcs bread that’s more substantial than what’s inside?  The fact that the food is actually seasoned and ingredients are fresh is a giant leap from what the times does.  You can tell that the kitchen is run by a chef at the bee.  If these things aren’t obvious to you, maybe you shouldn’t bother posting your uneducated reviews on every article on NR.  I welcome your opinions, but at least take the time to know what you’re talking about.

  • mgd
    04/07 05:49 PM

    Like Why said, this place is a step above The Times. 

    A new restaurant cant be defined the pictures someone took on the opening day.  If you did the you may be a little shocked bringing your grandmother to The Borough before she goes to church on Wed. night!

  • tc
    04/07 05:51 PM

    “Let’s face it—Raleigh is more blue collar than white collar, so the $16.00 lunches will not keep downtown hoping.”

    Totally agree, but I would think that would mean the Busy Bee is something in that direction.  I haven’t been, so can’t give an opinion on the quality, but the prices of the salads, sandwiches, and sides are really not that much more than say..Chick-fil-a, tip not included.

  • petee
    04/07 09:18 PM

    Looks like I found my replacement for the Times!

  • lll
    04/07 11:13 PM

    I just went there for dinner and LOVED it! The atmosphere is impressive and the energy is bright. The food choices are different from anything else in town and was honestly the best I’ve had in a long time. Even though it is still in the “soft opening” phase, there were people waiting for tables on a Tuesday night. I’m so excited about this place and suggest everyone give it a try——you won’t be disappointed!

  • mgd
    04/07 11:32 PM

    joe if Durham shines brighter its b/c of the muzzle flashes.

  • Brock
    04/09 08:30 AM

    cool contemporary urban feel going on in there and the brightly lit bar is sweet.  Good beer selection too.  Now they just need to book a few good bands at the Hive!

  • MRL
    04/09 09:39 AM

    Absolutely amazing job! See what you can do when your daddy gives you a few million to play with and he’s the mayor?

  • MMI
    04/09 02:52 PM

    a) Who’s the brunette?

    b) We will have to see about this shrimp & grits dish.  I’m an admitted snob about this dish—I think it comes form 8 years of living in the Lowcountry of SC. First step: Use real stone-ground grits, people!

    I will be checking this place out with great anticipation.  Joe, why don’t you join me?  The only way to mix up the crowd is to do it yourself.

  • lindseycm
    04/09 03:33 PM

    busy bee is a buffet of beautiful boy bartenders: there’s hipster bartender, punk rock bartender, roughed tattoo bartender, lumber jack bartender, hippie bartender… 
    needless to say they have too many people working at once cause they were all lined up behind the bar waiting for me to finish my drink so they could all offer at once to get me another one.  but i liked it!  way better than the alternative where you have to wait forever to get the bartenders attention. 
    other pros:  no smoking inside but can smoke on the roof top bar so you don’t have to stand on the street like a leper if you want to smoke.  decor is nice.  food looked good.  they seemed genuinely interested in customer opinion.
    a few cons:  it’s too bright - feels more like an art gallery than a bar (but they turned down the lights when i mentioned that).  they may be running out of food on the regular.  they are using only fresh and local food so they were out of about 7 items on the menu.  but fresh deliveries everyday.

  • Chico
    04/09 04:45 PM

    The lumberjack bartender is my favorite.

  • jeremy
    04/10 02:26 AM

    outstanding MRL! just sit back (behind a cryptic name)and take pot shots at someone who is trying to do better for himself at for his community. and yes the busy bee is using stone ground grits from the lowcountry for the shrimp & grits…

  • JT
    04/10 12:15 PM

    The burger I had was just ok.  I currently still prefer the times burger.  The aioli however was magnificent, it’s really perfection in a mayonnaise based sauce.  Looking forward to trying something else there.

  • MMI
    04/10 12:39 PM

    Well, it’s about time.  I challenge anyone to actually find coarse grind stone ground grits in a local store.  Hell, you’ll be local to find anything beyond Quaker Quick Grits in most of them.  A few carry the “Red Mill” brand, but that’s a very fine grind.  I had to find a vendor at the State Farmer’s Market for mine, but still have to commute to Chucktown for the good stuff.

  • Lumber Jack
    04/10 03:32 PM

    Cheers Chico! Thanks for all the comments and keep ‘em coming.

  • Mills
    04/10 03:33 PM

    Really, really amazing food.  Hot chef.  Great hospitality and inviting atmosphere. Mac and cheese is unbelieveable! 

    I appreciate the place opening up so early, too.  The barista was grating ginger and wide awake at 6 am.  Happy and knowledgeable people are a commodity.

    My new spot.  Great job.

  • Deanna D.
    04/10 03:45 PM

    Sweet place.  Pork was cooked perfectly, but I wanted more!  New Raleigh also said breakfast was there, but no eggs before 11.  My pastry was good and the chai was great, but I wanted something a bit heftier. 
    Great ambiance.  The coffee shop kids were talking about how much they loved the place and how great the owners were.  Rare.  Cheers!

  • Lee
    04/10 03:48 PM

    Awesome.  Great concept.

  • Lee
    04/10 03:50 PM

    The menu is the bomb.  Simple, but great selection and high quality.

  • mgd
    04/10 04:05 PM

    I had lunch the other day, excellent yet another time.  I sat at the bar end of the bar the bartender visibly busy.. not a problem.  She got me my drink… she still busy and takes a while to get back to take my order. 

    But the part I do have a problem is that there were 3 servers rolling silverware on the bar 2 seats from me.  Not once did any of them ask if the bartender or I needed help.  OF the restaurants Ive worked at none of them allowed you to roll your silverware in sight of customers.

  • hamilton
    04/10 04:13 PM

    where do you work mgd?

  • mgd
    04/10 05:29 PM

    I dont work in the restraunt industry now.  But my qualifications in the restaurant industry has nothing to do with me as a customer.

    Ruby Tuesdays & Portobello

  • hamilton
    04/10 05:48 PM

    i didn’t ask the question you answered. haha.

  • thomas
    04/10 06:02 PM

    Best place ever.  Great Frisee, fried green tomatoes, turkey sandwiches, and staff!  Good job.  Definately “sparkles” more than it’s early morning competition.  I know the barista from somewhere that i can’t place, she’s so kind.  Great service all day.

  • North_Raleigh_Guy
    04/10 06:48 PM

    I had dinner at the Busy Bee with my wife last night. We had a nice time. It was very busy at 6:30 on a Thursday night. There was a variety of age groups there. I saw a few older couples who looked like they may have just gotten off work (wearing suits). Also a few families with small children. I noticed the upstairs bar and the rooftop was domianted by the 20-30 crowd. All in all a nice place and I will be back.

  • mgd
    04/10 07:24 PM

    Gotcha… I’m a park bench tester (third shift)

  • pickle
    04/10 07:58 PM

    Wow - I feel like I went to a completely different place than the majority of these posters in regards to the food.  Sure, it is a beautiful place inside and the wait staff is great, but that’s where it ends for me. I had the grilled chicken sandwich and was far from impressed.  The chicken was dry and lacking flavor and the bun tasted like a Food Lion brand hamburger bun.  I’m not sure if they forgot to add the pear and honey because all I could taste was mayonnaise.  It looked like I may have gotten the bottom of the french fry bag because they were mostly inch long french fries that could have stayed in the fryer for another minute or two. 

    The next time I want to go to a restaurant/bar and look at a pretty atmosphere, I’ll go back to the Busy Bee.  But if I’m looking for good food, I’ll go to Raleigh Times, Sitti, Vics, etc…

  • tom
    04/11 10:47 AM

    I went to 2 friends on Tuesday. I love the decor, and the beet bruscetta was very tasty.
    My friend(who eats like a bird) was disappointed
    with the portion-size of her gnocchi(she had to buy a scone on the way out because she was still hungry). I mean, its mostly potatoes with a little sausage, so why scrimp on the potato part?
    Also, they only had 1 vegetarian option(the veggie sandwich), which was OK, but it’s served cold. They definitely need to add at least another veggie option.
    Will go definitely go back though.

  • kronkite
    04/15 07:10 PM

    try the hummus app.  i had it for lunch and liked it a lot.

  • Etabug
    04/17 09:13 PM

    I et a bug in this restaurant. In my sandwich. Not a good thing.

  • MMI
    04/18 02:32 PM

    Was it a bee, and did he look particularly busy?

  • hamilton
    04/18 07:37 PM

    so nice to have a spot on the patio in the early morning.  good, good bold coffee.

  • matt
    04/18 07:43 PM

    I thought it was kinda nice. But I had already eaten and had a few drinks by the time I wandered in, so I got a coffee drink.

    Everyone was so friendly. Don’t take this as a review, I’m just drunk-walking guy.

    But no one MINDED drunk-walking guy, which is a big plus. Lots of places don’t seem to care much for drunk-walking guy. Which sucks because WE ARE LEGION.

  • iamlegend
    04/22 06:47 PM

    I love the place.  Tea snobs rejoice.

  • jesse
    05/01 07:08 PM

    Early this am, I tried the coffee. I really enjoyed it.  The lady that served me was really enthusiastic about the busy bee and let me watch cnn with the remote in my hand.  I’ll be back for dinner tomorrow.

  • wow
    05/02 10:25 PM

    Love this place. Love the fact you can get good tasting food made with FRESH ingredients for a reasonable price. Great atmosphere. I will be a regular.

  • jesse
    05/18 06:49 PM

    Where is Jacky?

  • AberZombie
    05/26 03:20 PM

    The Busy Bee is pretty far from perfect.  It’s tiny and quaint, and the nice array of hardwoord flooring and art in NO way take away from the downfalls.  The space is tiny, so whence filled with lots of people, the space gets really loud.  Some acoustic filling could be a thought?!  Moreso, I got the steak and my friend got the pork plate.  My steak was pre-cut into small strips atop a bed of frittes (their version of fries).  I think I got more PLATE than FOOD.  Art’s pork plate was very much the same.  He got more PLATE and ONIONS than PORK.  Our bills totalled almost $20 for hardly no food at all.  We even left and went to the Borough b/c we were STILL hungry.  Furthermore, the diet coke was very flat-tasting with little to no carbonation.  When I asked for tea, I got (what looked like) water with a single tea leaf swirled in the midst. 

    Be prepared to mark this one off your list..IF you find yourself wanting to try this out.  (We visited Busy Bee on 4/6).

  • wow
    05/26 09:17 PM

    I have been to the BB on several occassions and have never had any of the problems above. Their menu is VERY reasonably priced, and the food has been very consistent. The fried green tomatoes are amazing, and the tom and jack burger is a favorite!

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