Hunny Bee’s menu is straightforward — crispy fried chicken fingers, “hot fries,” buttery toast and cold milkshakes.
“It’s intentionally super simple because we want to just focus on a few things and do it really well,” said Joe Niehaus, co-founder and general manager. “Everyone loves chicken fingers, so we want to focus on a few things and doing those really well.”
The space was most recently a Lee’s Ltd. Tenders & Dips restaurant before closing in July 2020. Though Hunny Bee’s is also a chicken-focused restaurant, Niehaus said they’re optimistic the quality of their food and their efficient, friendly service will make the business a success.
With the drive-thru, Niehaus said they are using “some pretty innovative technology” to keep customers moving through the line quickly.
“We’re kind of hoping to ramp up Brown Street a little bit,” he said. “So, our goal is to be the most convenient, quickest and just most delicious food. So, what that gives us the ability to do is to open up, hopefully, new locations relatively quickly.”
Niehaus is a co-founder of Hunny Bee’s along with the founders of FUSIAN Sushi, who are Hunny Bee’s official owners.
At the time of his May 2021 graduation from University of Cincinnati, Niehaus, a Northern Kentucky native, said he was interested in opening a chicken finger restaurant. He didn’t consider Dayton an option until brainstorming with his longtime friends — the founders of FUSIAN — and they advised him the location would be ideal to open the Hunny Bee’s concept.
Fusian Sushi was launched in Cincinnati in 2010 by Zach and Josh Weprin and Stephan Harman, who attended Oakwood’s Harman Elementary School and “always talked about going into business together,” Harman told this news outlet in 2011.
Intended to be the first of numerous Hunny Bee’s restaurants, it’s fitting the restaurant is located a stone’s throw from one of the original FUSIAN restaurants at 1200 Brown St. #125.
“We wanted to create a place for UD students and the general community where we could treat people with amazing food and warm smiles,” Niehaus said.