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December 9, 2009 > Restaurant Review: The Beehive Cafe

Restaurant Review: The Beehive Cafe

By Shavon Walker

"Welcome to The Beehive Cafe!" These were the first words I heard upon entering the door of The Beehive Cafe for my initial visit. Friendliness and charm is what has made this place popular since its unofficial opening September 3rd of this year.

Beehive serves American style comfort food, and can serve up to 120 people at once. Chris Zeidan, owner and manager of the Cafe, told me a bit about its beginnings. The Beehive Cafe got its name because he and his partner wanted "a name that attracts a lot of different folks." His idea of diversity carried through to the menu; a kids' version is available, as well as a wine selection, As a result, when I looked around the restaurant, patrons included families, groups and a few teens.

Satisfaction doesn't end with the customers. Employees enjoy working there as well. "I wanted to create an environment that they would enjoy working in," said Zeidan. "Some of the girls don't want to go home after their shift." He's definitely been successful; on my initial visit, I'd noticed waitresses wearing sunflowers in their hair, and greeting customers in the same, friendly manner. I'd thought it was mandatory; Zeidan informed me that they had decided to do this themselves. That kind of helpful creativity is not something you see every day.

Zeidan noted that their location on Thornton Avenue was perfect due to a high volume of vehicular traffic and proximity to Highway 84. When [previous occupant] Baker's Square closed, we saw an opportunity and moved in," he said. Zeidan and his partner are looking forward to expanding soon, perhaps as quickly as the end of the year. Their next location may be in San Leandro.

A primary reason to visit The Beehive Cafe is its pies. Cream pies are made in house by bakers from the old Baker's Square. Although we were sorely tempted, my fiance and I decided to keep the pies for another day, and ordered breakfast instead. He got the Joe Skillet (7.50), while I had a cinnamon roll (3.50), two eggs (2.50), and four link sausages (2.95). The Joe Skillet arrived in a small, old fashioned iron skillet filled with potatoes, spinach, onions, scrambled eggs, and ground beef. Everything was well cooked; the potatoes weren't overdone and the ground beef was delicious. Some restaurants cook this dish with a lot of oil, but that was not the case here; nothing was greasy, and all of it was well executed.

My cinnamon roll was served on a glass plate. The first thing that struck me was the size. Almost as large as the plate, it was hot and frosted with a pat of butter on top. I could taste the cinnamon in every bite. Even the roll itself was good, which is rare - many places will serve cinnamon buns made with inferior dough. This was one of the best rolls I've ever tasted, and the sugar rush afterward was worth it. In addition, my order of sausages was well seasoned and easy to eat (no gristle).

Service was excellent and our server, Maria, was quick to bring us anything we needed. She never lost her smile, and I observed her taking time out to talk to other customers about events in the community. This is the type of personal touch that makes this restaurant an excellent place to dine.

The Beehive Cafe's homey, friendly ambiance makes it the perfect place for a Sunday breakfast with the family or a taste of American comfort food at any time. Those looking for something new but familiar should find what they are looking for at the Beehive Cafe. Buzz in today.

Reviewed October 13, 2009

The Beehive Cafe
5475 Thornton Ave., Newark
(510) 794-7714

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