Log in or Sign up
Busy Bee Cafe
Taps: 19 / Bottles: 120
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
225 S Wilmington St
phone: (919) 424-7817
(Place added by: rtratzlaff on 04-18-2009)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 21 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I stopped into the Busy Bee for the first time. This place has a very interesting decor. The building itself is a classic with beautiful exposed brick walls and nice hardwood floors. They've then added comfortable and attractive tables and bars. I think it's got a nice feel. They also have an outdoor patio behind the second floor.
The tap list isn't large but it's got some good NC / eastern US beers and quite a few Belgians. They were a bit weak on IPAs though and the taps are split between floors so you're somewhat limited. They also offer some solid choices in the bottle.
Busy Bee is a nice addition to the growing number of craft beer options downtown.
09-10-2009 10:19:34 |
More by GJ40
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Spent all of a minute downstairs at Busy Bee before moving upstairs to the associated Hive, which as it turns out was not ideal - but this being my first visit I just followed the group. The Busy Bee seemed like a pretty chill spot, relatively quiet bar area with people having dinner at the tables. Without the quality beer selection, the Hive would be just another club scene - loud beat-heavy music, dance floor, and packed with people. Nearly lost my chalice twice. Like talking others in your group? Don't go upstairs. The back deck may hold some promise as an escape. Seems to be some kind of identity crisis going on here.
Nice draft selection here - Mischief from the Bruery was my choice, but there was a good 10 enticing options listed on the chalkboard. Pretty damn expensive at $8 for a small chalice.
Service was reasonably quick given the crowded bar, but there was really no opportunity for anything other than the money-for-beer exchange.
I'd go back to hang out or have dinner downstairs, but there'd have to be the promise of something fantastic or be an off night to make me climb that staircase again.
04-13-2010 23:17:22 |
More by blackie
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Located one block off Fayetteville street and just around the corner from the Raleigh Times.
Small bar area. Lots of table seating and loft area for small gatherings. A couple of outside tables on the sidewalk.
Separate upstairs bar area. 8 taps up and down. What they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. Always a very solid tap lineup with several beers hard if not impossible to find anywhere else in town.
The menu has some interesting twists on bar good. No kids menu, but a very kid-friendly place during the day and early evening. Nice brunch menu on Sunday. Try the crack tots ... two over easy eggs on a bed of seasoned tater tots. Crazy good.
Good tv coverage in the bar (only 2, though) but not obtrusive.
Not a cheap place to go out, but the quality of the taps make up for that.
Well worth a stop if you are in downtown.
08-23-2010 15:56:23 |
More by beer2day
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
The vibe in the Busy Bee is a little too hipster for me, the music is overly loud and indie or ironic and you certainly feel like people are giving you the you are not cool enough to be in here looks.
The beer selection is good, while not extensive. The beers that are available tend to be very good beers and are definitely served properly. I have not been disappointed in any of the beers that I have ordered and received at the Busy Bee. I found the prices on the beers to be a little higher than some similar establishments in the same general area of downtown Raleigh.
The service at the Busy Bee has been very hit and miss for me. I have had servers that had extremely good knowledge about the beers but were inattentive or very slow, I have had servers that were great but knew nothing about the beer, and I have had servers that were attentive and knowledgeable.
The food has been solid each of the times I have been though not outstanding - some items are definitely better than others. The menu seems to change around about every 6 months so it is nice to try the different items as they appear.
01-20-2012 15:49:36 |
More by dbrauneis
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Visited on 8/17/09:
Unassuming place from the outside, nice space, exposed brick and exposed duct work, 15 or so places at a nice wood bar with maybe 30 tables on the main level plus a few upstairs.
The atmosphere was good, the place had a nice buzz to it, but only about half full that night and seemed to be a little too bright. Also, they had a few too many servers so it made it feel a little uninviting as they were just standing around. But as noted in the previous review, it did have a nice coffee aroma to the place and did not have the typical funk that most beer joints have.
The food was a step up from the usual pub grub, but just barely. I had the burger, it was under done, but the Mac and cheese was really good and they tried to get a bit too fancy with the salad that I ordered.
The wait staff was helpful, knowledgeable and fast. They did provide a beer menu and told me what they did and didn't have that was on the menu. I think that there may have only been 2 changes, so it was pretty well up to date. The prices for both the beer and the food were reasonable.
They had 8 beers on tap with a few rotating. Nothing all that special, but a good selection. Also a good selection of 20 bottle and overall the selection seemed to be a little more Belgian in flavor, which is not a bad thing, but again, most if not all I had seen or tried before.
Overall a good stop but I would probably go to Woody's or The Pit before coming here.
08-21-2009 16:26:00 |
More by PhillyStyle
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I entered the Busy Bee Cafe on the high recommendation of the friend who took me there, but I'm not sure I expected it to be THIS great.
The place is large, but more long than wide, and feels like a spacious, modern saloon. Very much an establishment focused on drinking great beer, all other concerns sitting on the periphery. (Even better would have been no TVs at all, but they were showing some baseball, so okay...) The service was fine, quick enough, but not overly friendly. No big deal.
It's the selection that amazes. No, maybe not the hugest tap selection, but they absolutely deal in 100% quality here. I spotted and tried a couple of beers that aren't even on the market yet, or might have just gotten there (like new offerings from both Dogfish Head and Ommegang). And every single beer they serve is something of some high degree of quality, something to fit just about any palate.
I was totally focused on our beer and our conversation, so there's probably not a ton more insight I can offer, other than this: 1) go there when in Raleigh, and 2) You won't be disappointed, and 3) Go There When in Raleigh!!!
09-05-2011 00:52:55 |
More by Metalmonk
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Busy Bee Cafe is a bright and pleasant restaurant. I'd almost say it's more restaurant than bar, but that's not really right. It's a multi faceted place.
The first part you encounter is the cafe. (and I mean that as in coffee) Beyond that is the main body of the restaurant with the long bar along the left side. There is also an upstairs area and a rooftop patio. I'll focus on the downstairs.
The main bar has eight taps. Most notable was Brooklyn Backbreaker. They also stock some pretty impressive bottles. (Some rare, some pricey, but all worthy)
The menu is a step or two above standard pub fare. Yes, they do burgers and sandwiches, but they also serve shrimp & grits, organic chicken hoppin' john, and braised lamb shanks. I had the shrimp & grits as it's not something you find in my neighborhood. Good stuff.
Service was very good. The bartender kept on top of things, and seemed like a good fellow.
This is another place I would return to if I get the chance.
02-20-2010 01:59:20 |
More by frazbri
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
After hearing about this place from rtratzlaff I headed over from Saucer to find a very hopping place for a Tuesday night. I had already been told that they had Obamagang on tap, and completely forgot about it upon seeing they had Brooklyn Coffee Stout as well as well as $7 bottles of Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I have been back a few times, and they were not surprisingly out of KBS on the next visit. The tap selection is very respectable with a rotating Aviator tap, Rare Vos, some good Belgians in The Hive upstairs, which also boasts a nice rooftop patio. The only BMC beer on tap was Miller High Life. The service was very good, especially for a place that had just opened. The menu is basic pub fare, and the burger I had earlier this week was tasty and reasonably priced. This place cleverly opens at 6am as a coffee shop, and the coffee certainly smells good, although I haven't tried it yet. The prices are very reasonable, especially compared to other places in the area, one in particular that's around the corner. All in all, it's looking like the taps don't get rotated quite as quickly as The Pit, but that place is an exception to the rule. This is certainly a place worth stopping in whenever you're downtown looking for beer, I know I will be.
04-18-2009 23:29:57 |
More by atsprings
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Went here while visiting the area for work. Recommended thanks to the great folks on BA.
A - A mix of hipsters and the happy hour folks. Was here on a Tuesday evening. Since they have a seating area for foood, there can be some children. Overall not bad, but not ideal.
Q - Everything served in proper glasses. Every pour was correct. Nothing to be upset about.
Ser - Bartender was helpful, polite, and talked briefly about the selections. They knew their stuff, and I tipped well because of that.
Selection - Great mix of locals and rares. I've seen better lists, and certianly more taps. But seeing things like Struise Pannepot was sweet, and their sours list was actually amazing.
Food - Not many choices, but what I ordered ( a salad) was very good.
V - I'm from NY, so I found it reasonable. I had Duck Rabbit milk stout, Mother Earth Dark Cloud, and Foothills red plus a salad for under $30. I can live with that.
I may swing by tomorrow if I can. A great find courtesy of BA.
02-22-2012 02:49:22 |
More by socon67
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This is a really cool place that serves as a coffee bar, bar/restaurant and nightclub all in one. The food is tasty and reasonably priced and the draft selection both at the bar and in the upper level is excellent. The last time I went, I had a Brooklyn Manhattan Project (served in appropriate glassware) and a Founders Double Trouble (served in a DFH signature glass). Both were tasty and the Double Trouble was very fresh (I think they cellared the Manhattan Project keg for a few months to let it mellow out). They are also good about getting new stuff on tap and getting kegs of really rare stuff (like Hopslam and Sexual Chocolate). This has become one of my favorite beer spots in Raleigh, it doesn't have the sheer volume of beer that the Saucer has but the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed which I enjoy.
03-21-2010 20:27:37 |
More by silver0rlead
« first ‹ prev
Busy Bee Cafe in Raleigh, NC
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address