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 Asheville’s beloved Green Man, and my first try at Founder’s "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.)
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).
I was grossly disappointed with this place. I’d 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. Can’t say I’ll ever willingly go back.
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.
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.
Love the busy bee. I can always find a beer or cask I’ve never tried. It can be pricy but who cares just skip the food if your trying to be cheap. I go here for beer that I can’t find on tap other places. The tater tots are nice but if you do get them go ahead and spend the extra money for a lunch meal and get the tots on the side. It’s better than just getting the side dish.
Great place to go and hangout after work or on Friday and Saturday nights. Right in the heart of Downtown Raleigh on Wilmington street sits this nice bar that has a lot of beers to choose from and really good food to go with it. If you plan on going on a Friday or Saturday night plan on waiting for a table to open up for a while, or get there really early to claim a spot. Overall the atmosphere is hopping, the bartenders are knowledgeable and the food is top notch. Great place!