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Busy as bees at restaurant

Sisters take over operation of landmark

March 28, 2008
By Kate York,
Two sisters who grew up frequenting and working at the Busy Bee restaurant now own it and will give the Harmar staple another of its seemingly nine lives.

Donna English and Georgeanna Wade hope to reopen the Busy Bee on Tuesday, five months after it closed for the second time in a year.

The restaurant, which opened in Harmar in the early 1950s, was closed by family of the longtime owners in late 2006, re-opened by new owners in April 2007 and then closed again and put up for sale in November.

The Busy Bee began its history even before it was moved to the west side, though, with the business open on Putnam Street in the 1940s.

The sisters have their own history with the restaurant.

“We’ve always had some connection to it,” said Wade, 56. “I worked here in high school, Donna worked here and our mother was a cook here for years. I can remember hanging out here in the ‘60s, coming in to buy our 15-cent RCs and a doughnut before school.”

One of their other four sisters also married into the family that owned the Busy Bee for decades.

To open the restaurant and be closer to her children and grandchildren, Wade is returning to the area from Knoxville, Tenn., after having been away for more than 10 years.

English is leaving a longtime job at the Veterens of Foreign Wars post in Marietta to take a chance at her dream.

“I’ve always wanted my own restaurant,” she said. “I managed the VFW for 16 years, and we had lunch and dinner there but I always said I’d rather have my own.”

Wade and English, 55, said they plan to keep most aspects of the Busy Bee just the way the regulars like it.

The business is known for its classic diner charm and homemade food, from the Wimpy burger to scrambled eggs with cheese and several varieties of pancakes.

“We’re going to try to keep it as similar as we can,” said Wade.

“People like the good food and the friendly people,” said English.

There will be about 10 employees when the Busy Bee is once again up and running, they said—and likely a lot of happy customers.

“Everywhere we go people have been telling us how happy they are,” said Wade. “They miss it when it’s closed.”

Article Photos

MITCH CASEY The Marietta Times
Sisters Georgeanna Wade, left, and Donna English recently purchased the vacant Busy Bee Restaurant in Harmar, and have been busy preparing the business for reopening next Tuesday.

Fact Box

Busy Bee reopening
¯ Expected open date: Tuesday
¯ Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday
¯ Address: 226 Gilman Ave., Marietta.



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