The Busy Bee has a small frontage, a long bar and an equally long beer list with about 12 draft beers including a cask beer tap. It feels quite spacious and is modern and stylish.
(Visited 13 February 2014).
This is a hip, classy beverage-focused joint. The beer selection was pretty good with a mix of micros and imports. I ended up going with the Tilquin Geuze. This seems to be one of the best places to get a quality beer in downtown Raleigh. The only drawback is the prices of drafts. They are noticeably higher than the other three bars I visited in downtown. A higher price point does fit with the classier ambiance and food menu, however.
Went to this joint with Immy, emacgee, OldStyleCubFan, and a couple of Immyís pals. Crowded on a Saturday night, but still a very enjoyable ambience. Nice soft wood with some copper and bronze fixtures visible (kinda mid-90s but okay). Didnít try the food, but the tap selection was quite good (albeit a tad pricey).
Dinner here before the WBF. The selection was not huge but there were quite a few rarities and hard to find beers. Service was perfectly fine, and the food was tasty. I will say this, though - I rarely complain about price, but I did notice that everything seemed a bit on the high side. A nice place, to be sure, but maybe a little too precious.
Finally made it here on a slower summer Sunday afternoon. Was that time between lunch and dinner and the whole place was relatively empty/dead. I came hoping to find a few rare/exciting/different beers as I know they have gotten cool stuff in the past. Was pretty disappointed to find almost nothing of interest except for one ipa from a Newer NC brewery I have never heard of. Service was fine, but again, it was dead. Will have to return when I know they have something good on. Underwhelming first experience for sure.
Really enjoyed my visit here - the owner, Chris, sat and chatted with me for a bit. I had a perfectly cooked burger with a fried green tomato and pepper jack on it. Seems like they do some cool events as there were pictures of past beer dinners with folks like Sam from DFH on the walls.
I was grossly disappointed with this place. Iíd heard such good things, but was amazingly underwhelmed. On my trip, after lunch on a Tuesday, there were only eight draughts. Some decent beer, but nothing particularly interesting. The bottle selection was OK, but (as always happens) terribly overpriced. The service, though, was horrific, and overshadowed everything else. Since this was after lunch, there were very few tables occupied. Even so, it took 5+ minutes to be acknowledged that we entered the place (the bartender brought menus and said our waitress would be by soon), and another 5+ minutes for the server to stop by. Anything we asked for took an inordinately long time. Canít say Iíll ever willingly go back.
Nice 3 story restaurant in Raleigh. The first floor is a typical bar, several tables and a long bar with plenty of local taps like Aviator and Big Boss. The second floor is just tables, but the 3rd floor has an outdoor patio and another bar they call "the hive", which has different beers than downstairs. Food was good, I particularly liked the calamari and the NC cheese platter. Very nice staff, although service got slow as the night wore on and the place filled up. Still, a good stop with some worthwhile brews.
The Busy Bee was my first stop during an Easter vacation sojourn to the Tarheel capital city. The comfortable vibe hits you in the face the moment you enter; it is a small place: a single room with an average bar on the left; the ceiling is high and airy (there is a mezzanine section towards the back) with plenty of ducts and brickwork to satisfy the most picky of construction workers. The Bee offers 12 taps and one cask, along with a massive selection of bottled beer - some very $$$.
My visit coincided with a recent Finch Brewing event, since there were plenty selections from this Chicago-based brewer: Pale Ale, Fascist Pig and Sobelski. Also wetting my palate: French Broad Ryehopper, something from Stone, a stout from Ashevilleís beloved Green Man, and my first try at Founderís "Blushing Monk.
Excellent service, delicious grub (fish taco) and reasonable prices made this a sweet place to hang out, but not long enough to swing by Crank Arm. (See My Review.)
I stopped in for a few brews before a set I played at the bar next door. Nice place. There was a good selection of drafts and some good bottles too. They were focused heavily on Terrapin for some reason and nearly half the drafts were those beers. One cool thing they had was an apparent one off bourbon barrel beer from LoneRider. It is a sign of a good beer bar when they go out and get special, rare beers. I didnít eat the food myself but some friends got it and it seemed like your typical high-end pub eats. I will be back my next time in Raleigh.