I met some friends last night at the Beehive. They ate, I just had some wine. I love the space, especially the downstairs. It seems like a great place for a lively group dinner. Our waitress was very friendly and service was pretty efficient. The one observation that I really want to make is, what's up with serving wine out of brandy snifters? I asked the waitress if they had any regular wine glasses, which they do but apparently save for finer bottles of wine. I find this practice of restaurants using non-wine glasses to serve wine to be quite annoying. Rocca usually serves wine out of what I would consider water glasses. Our waitress last night was kind enough to track down some proper wine glasses for us, which we greatly appreciated. Similarly, on a trip to Rocca earlier this week, our server Jeff brought us proper wine glasses without us even asking which was great. Maybe I'm not the only one complaining...
541 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
500 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
I really can't decide if I like the Beehive or not. Interesting space, certainly bustling, relatively interesting specialty mixed drinks, but maybe it's just a little too sceney for me. Can't help that it got written up in the NYT as a place for hipsters to get their groove on. She served you your wine in a brandy snifter? How strange!
Yes, I agree with you -- friendly service (which I was not expecting, because it was so sceney). Food was decent. I think the basement is better for drinks and apps. The wine served in brandy sniffers was a bit odd.
"because the crowd most nights is more sorority house than hipster" - that is just spot on. Though I did see some 40s-plus ladies about town in sorority house clothing hanging out the last time I was there. As well as their college-aged counterparts. I obviously do not get the crowd, at all.
Some of my artist friends, folks who have long loved and supported Pho Republique, have gone from liking The Beehive a lot (especially during friends and family previews) to totally avoiding it now. The issue isn't the atmosphere or even the food, but the crowd it is attracting.
Square people don't bother me -- I'm sorry to say that I'm one of them now -- but the crowd has included far fewer hipster types on my last few visits than I expected. Definitely more of a "New South End" crowd, which as far as I can tell is hipster anathema.
Rocca's non-traditional wine glasses are horrible, more appropriate for serving ice cream parfaits than wine. At least The Beehive's brandy snifter is more functionally apt as a wine glass substitute, the right bowl shape for focusing the nose. I'd still prefer cheap, sturdy stemware or enoteca-style flat-bottomed tumblers to either of these alternatives when drinking modest wines.
I ordered a decent bottle of wine on my last visit to Rocca, and also got proper stemware without asking for it. Maybe Rocca has finally gotten sick of the complaints, and is just using regular stemware for everthing now? I wouldn't miss the old ones: a stupid choice made worse by servers who nearly empty a bottle of wine with between two glasses with 10-oz pours.
Beehive has figured out that there is a market for 35-45yo single people that want a cool place to hang out. The club scene is too young in this city. While mostly square people, i would have to say that it attracts one of the most diverse groups of people in Boston. I have been there a few times and every time, about 8 guys hit on at least one of the girls in the our group relentlessly, it is kinda humorous.
I think that not having wine glasses is a bit ridiculous though, as is some of their prices for the wine and drinks.