The Bee’s Knees was an amazing place to hang out. Sadly it is no longer open and so this is no longer the official website of The Bee’s Knees. Instead we have set it up as tribute to this unique eatery that gave so much pleasure to so many people.
The Bee’s Knees opened back in 2003. From the start, the plan was to set up a place where everyone felt immediately at home. With no airs and graces, the intention was to feel as if you’d called round to visit a friend. This atmosphere they definitely succeeded in creating.
The Bee’s Knees could be found at 82 Lower Main Street, Morrisville, Vermont. It was open six days a week, Tuesday through to Sunday, it closed on a Monday. It was well known for its great breakfasts and it opened early enough so you could pop in before work, which I thought was a brilliant idea. So many places don’t open until 8.30 or 9.00am and that’s just too late for me to get breakfast before I get to the office. The Bee’s Knees opened at 6.30am on a weekday and 8.00am at the weekend, and it was open right through the day until 10.00pm. Whenever you needed it, The Bee’s Knees was ready for you!
There are some restaurants and even cafes and bars that make you feel like you need to eat up and get out. You can see the waiters lingering, hoping you’ll make a move so they can get another party seated at your table. I hate to be rushed and so I loved The Bee’s Knees. You really felt as if you could hang around all day without them bothering you. If you sat for an hour with your drink, you didn’t feel like they were watching you, waiting for you to buy something else. If you wanted time to peruse the menu, you could do so at your leisure. In fact, they encouraged you to take your time, to relax and unwind. There were even board games to be played. I spent many happy hours at The Bee’s Knees, once you got sat down, you just didn’t want to leave.
It was obvious to anyone who visited The Bee’s Knees that it was a great place to work. The relaxed atmosphere in the place wasn’t facade, it wasn’t a fake sense of relaxation just for the customers, the staff too, while working hard, were always chilled and calm. It seemed like they were all members of one happy family, and they knew many of their customers by name. The Bee’s Knees was one of the friendliest places I’ve ever visited.
Depending on the time of day you visited The Bee’s Knees, there was a great choice of food. There were three different menus, the breakfast menu, the lunch menu and the supper menu, so you’d get a totally new experience for every meal.
The breakfast menu was a real delight, it certainly set you up for the day. Eggs played a big part in the menu and they were truly delicious. They were organic eggs from the local Applecheek Farm. Vegans didn’t need to feel left out either as any egg dish could be made with tofu instead. What a great idea! There were also plenty of additions you could make to the basic dishes, so you could have it your way, and have it a different way each time you visited! My favourite breakfast dish to have was the breakfast burritos. Two of those gorgeous eggs served up in a tortilla, smothered in oozing melted cheese. There were several variations of the breakfast burrito and I think I tried them all over the years!
The lunch menu was equally as impressive. I used to visit a lot with a vegan friend of mine as the vegan options on the lunch menu were particularly good. He always used to rave about the mock pulled pork. My personal favourite was the curried chicken salad. The curry mayo sauce was thick and creamy and packed full of fruit. It was a real treat I just couldn’t get enough of. It perhaps wasn’t the best option for my waistline, but it was so delicious I really didn’t care! On a hot summer’s day the Watermelon Gazpacho was also a lovely choice, light and refreshing, it was pretty special.
At supper time, the entrée selection was very good. Again vegans were well catered for. I found you could take anyone to The Bee’s Knees and they’d always find something they liked that was right for their dietary requirements. The staff were also very obliging if you asked for anything in your chosen dish to be omitted or swapped for something else. The shrimp salad or the nachos were my usual go-to for an appetiser. When it came to entrées though, I never could make up my mind, deliberating for ages until finally I plumped for something. You really couldn’t go wrong though. All the dishes were super tasty! They made simple dishes truly spectacular, such as the Vermont Cheddar macaroni and cheese made with a Cabot cheddar cheese sauce. The portion size was very good too. You never left The Bee’s Knees hungry! One dish that I didn’t choose for ages because it sounded rather odd, was the Chicken Goat Cheese Pot Pie. Chicken and goat cheese… together? It just sounded weird to me. But one day, I’d had a couple of drinks and perhaps I think it was the alcohol that made me be a little braver and give it a go, and wow I’m so glad I did. It was a taste sensation. The free range chicken was served up with artichoke, caramelised onions and spinach, and served in a creamy goat cheese sauce. I don’t know why it worked, but it really did! It was divine.
Now I’ve saved the best for last. What made The Bee’s Knees really stand out from the crowd wasn’t the relaxed atmosphere, it wasn’t the amazing food, no, it was the live music that was playing nearly every night. Whatever style of music you were into, you’d enjoy a night out at The Bee’s Knees. From rock to folk, from blues to soul and R&B gospel. The musicians played for tips, food and drink and the system seemed to work well as their calendar was always jam packed. I think because the place was so popular, they probably did pretty well with the tips, and of course they got to sample the amazing food from The Bee’s Knees menu. I saw some fantastic live music there. Jim Berkeley was great and Patti Casey with Susannah Blachly was just magical.
Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on just why a certain venue wins a place in your heart and why others simply don’t, fading in your memory over time. I’ll never forget The Bee’s Knees though, and I don’t think it’s any one thing. I think it’s a combination of factors. Primarily, it was the atmosphere, that un-rushed, relaxed feeling the place had. You always felt welcome, you’d always be greeted with a smile and you could happily sit there all day and watch people come and go. Then of course there was the food. I probably ate there a little more often than I really should, but once I got sat down with a drink, it was very hard to resist ordering a little something to eat too. The staff always stick in my mind. They were always friendly, I grew to treat them as true friends over time. But perhaps it was the live music that really made this place special. When I think of The Bee’s Knees, the first memories that pop into my head are of some of those slightly wild and silly night’s out with a great singer or band playing. There were occasions when I’d called in with friends just for one drink after work, and ended up staying until the place closed at 10.00pm. In my mind, that’s the ultimate sign of a great venue!