Business, Community, Springfield

Busy Bee Cafe comes back with big buzz

SPRINGFIELD – After a temporary hiatus, the Busy Bee Cafe has once again been restitched into the fabric of the Springfield business community. 

The cafe reopened on Easter weekend after eight months of being closed. The classic diner, located at 2152 Main St., was bought by Meg Holiday, a serial restaurant owner in Lane County. 

Betty Boyd owned Busy Bee for 17 years before retiring last year, and was inspired by Holiday’s passion for keeping the Busy Bee’s doors open.

“We were lucky enough that Betty picked us because there were a couple other bids in,” Holiday said. “She picked us because we wanted to keep it as ‘Busy Bee’…. I knew what this name meant to people and we knew they had a big community.”

Busy Bee has a long history in Springfield. It started out as an ice cream parlor in the 1950s, then was a 24-hour restaurant under multiple names before finally becoming Busy Bee. 

Boyd said there weren’t many renovations during her time as owner, but Holiday came in and made some immediate updates to the floors, kitchen, and bathrooms, which is why Busy Bee took until April to reopen despite Holiday taking over in October.

“​​My secret but not-so-secret desire is that the longtime regulars walk in and look around, and they’re like, ‘It looks the same, but something’s different,” Holiday said.

Holiday, her husband, and her husband’s business partner own multiple restaurants, including Slice Pizzeria and John Henry’s in Eugene. Busy Bee is primarily Meg’s responsibility, and the classic diner is one she’s always wanted to run. 

Having that diner be Busy Bee was a cherry on top.

“We were customers here before. When I lived in California, I worked in a diner with a counter,” Holiday said. “Being able to bring Busy Bee back and keep it alive was something that I was like, ‘Okay, this is a staple in here.’”

It’s been two months since its reopening, and Holiday said the response from the community – and the regulars especially – has been great.

“It’s been very good. It’s definitely been unlike anything I’ve ever done before, because a lot of times for other businesses that we’ve had, we’re creating the concept from the ground up, and we’re creating the culture that’s around it,” Holiday said. “Now we bought this business and we’re stepping into it already established. We already have a clientele and we already have regulars that want their same seat.”

The regulars seem to be the recurring message, and diner regulars are an especially loyal group. Boyd said the restaurant used to serve lots of Mill workers, and she saw generations come through during her time as owner.

“I have watched kids grow up and have kids of their own,” Boyd said. “Busy Bee has been kind of an anomaly, so to speak, because it’s just held fast over the years. It’s just been a very special place.”

Those regulars returned in droves once Holiday reopened.

“The biggest surprise is just how many regulars that have been coming here for decades still come back. They’re like, ‘Yeah, I’ve been through three generations of owners,’” Holiday said.  “We know all their names, and half the time we know their orders before they even sit down.”

Holiday said she has ideas for the diner moving forward, including expanded hours and a back room for people to rent out for events. 

For now though, the historic diner remains as classic as ever.



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