Open: The Sleepy Bee Café

A restaurant that opens its doors with a finished interior, a polished menu, and a trained staff is about as rare as a glitter-encrusted unicorn. Despite its easy-going name, Sleepy Bee has managed all this and more. Chef Frances Kroner has created an extensive menu of breakfast and lunch items that manage to be tasty, healthy, family friendly, and budget conscious.

Salads are vibrant and fresh, studded with alterna-veggies such as kale, seaweed, Chioggia beets, and fennel. The Quinoa and Rice Salad is a gorgeous blend of wild and brown rice, pomegranate seeds, and toasted almonds.

The burger is Kentucky-proud, by way of Marksbury Farm Market in Garrard County, and arrives on a pert Blue Oven brioche bun. Choose the roasted root vegetables as your side and you’ll find yourself scraping out every last bit of Kroner’s housemade ketchup.

All other sandwiches feature Shadeau multi-grain bread and offer localized alternatives to diner staples. Sleepy Bee’s signature Beekeeper sandwich is a riff on the classic club, combining house-roasted Amish turkey with bacon, lettuce, tomato, havarti, and avocado. Breakfast options include goetta, a menu of over-the top pancakes (peanut butter, banana and chocolate), and vitamin-packed smoothies.

Sleepy Bee owners John Hutton and Sandra Gross are perhaps best known in the neighborhood for their beloved Blue Manatee children’s bookstore, which sits just blocks from the restaurant and explains the hands-on (read: more thoughtful) approach to the kids menu: Fruit plates, crudités, basic omelets, and bitty burgers—beef and veggie—cater to the pint-sized crowd and are priced appropriately.

Gross also operates the Brazee Street Studios, and her glass handiwork is a natural fit for the restaurant’s light-filled interior. At Sleepy Bee, she has created an environment that carries forth the freshness of the food. Pale subway tile, exposed brick, hardwood floors and Brazee Studio originals dominate the dining room, reiterating the desire to connect local producers with patrons. Kroner, Gross and Hutton have succeeded in bringing to life a business that will celebrate the community, within the neighborhood and beyond.

3098 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 533-2339,

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