This review may need to be updated in the future, but I’m hoping it doesn’t, seeing as, on a good service day, this place would easily get 4/5 stars. I’m optimistically assuming it was just growing pains, so I’m admittedly giving the benefit of the doubt and being hopeful in my review score. [It should be noted that I’ve never been to a restaurant on its opening weekend, but I understand slow service is probably pretty compulsory.] Slow service aside, both times Date and I have been, the staff have been amazingly nice, and with service improving over both visits, it is obvious they are really trying to get down a seamless system.
The place was great; the interior open with plenty of seating, and a set of high-top chairs surrounding the focal point in the Hive Bar (where we sat the second time we went). The food was pretty delicious, as the first time I chose The Worker Bee (two eggs scrambled, toast, goetta, and home fries), while Date opted for a Build-Your-Own Omelet (with bacon, goetta, avocado, and white cheddar, with toast and Hive Fries). The goetta was nothing short of amazing (from Eckerlin Meats at Findlay Market, which is not a kind I’ve ever had) and the fig preserves I put on my toast was the stand-out of my meal (there wasn’t any jelly or jam for the toast, so when I asked for alternatives, this was a suggestion — you must try it!). Our second tryst with Oakley’s new brunch spot meant buttermilk pancakes for me, Bee Cakes (the healthier version of pancakes) for Date, with Hive Fries and goetta to share. The pancakes were so, so, so good.
Everything has been very good, and I am all-around very happy with my dining experiences. And, as I said, I fully expect the service to improve vastly here in the near future.
Sleepy Bee is not only a great addition to the Cincinnati food scene, it is an even better addition to the Oakley scene. I foresee many brunches here in the future. And, in no way, is that depressing.
Overall grade: B+ [out of a possible A+]