Matthew Senecal-Junkeer and Sean Cunningham (above) of Gastown’s popular The Birds and The Beets have just launched their latest project, Hunnybee Bruncheonette. Located on the northwest corner of Union and Gore streets in Chinatown/Strathcona, the 23 seater is a day only operation that converts into a bar in the evenings. The bar – which we’ll report on later – is run by Tyson Davies, formerly of Bao Bei.
For some background on the place, here’s some details from when we first wrote about it back in July:
This should be interesting. If you’re not already aware, The Birds and The Beets is a day-only operation that often hosts fun pop-ups in the evenings, particularly a cheeky little weekly Wednesday thing called Juice Bar. That’s how they’ll be rolling at Hunnybee, too, though Soap will operate nightly instead of a once a week.
Hunnybee will focus on scratch made, brunch-y items, some of which will employ ingredients made at The Birds and The Beeta (eg. bread, yogurt). Allison worked previously at Birds and she’s known Matthew long enough to be easily on the same page (they actually met many years ago at cooking school), so it’s fair to expect the food to be as strong as it is in Gastown.
You might remember Tyson from behind the bar at either Bao Bei, Tacofino or Calabash. The Englishman will take advantage of Roost’s existing 12am liquor license, making drinks that are fun, personal riffs on familiar classics. The menu at night will be snack-forward and completely separate from Huneybee’s line-up.
Basically, the border of Chinatown and Strathcona is getting two establishments in one, and it’s kind of a cool story as to why. The way I’ve heard it, when the space became available Matthew and Tyson both tried to take it over independent of one another. When Matthew was successful in snagging it, he found out about Tyson and his Soap concept and asked if he wanted to run it in the space at night. Boom. How cool is that?
As previously teased, the menu is reminiscent of what they do at Birds. That means healthy, wholesome and good. For my part, I started into it simply, tucking into a delicious jam- and crumble-topped pancake that was further loaded up with plums — excellent from first bite to last. A return visit is definitely in order to see if the rest of the food I watched come out is as tasty as it looked; I’m working under the assumption that it will be. Birds regulars know these guys are pretty passionate about what they do, and it’s coming across loud and clear here.
It’s always been clean, bright space since Roost took it over a few years back. Hunnybee has made the interior even better with small moves here and there. I’m really digging the branding and all the greenery, especially the new floral ceiling installation by the Wild Bunch (check it out in the gallery below). How it looks and functions at night should be interesting, and I can’t wait to check it out.
Hunnybee will run from 7am to 3pm and Soap will open at 5pm with a late last call.