Busy Bee Cafe is a piece of history

busy bee
Jennie McKeon | The Sun
Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 12:52 PM.

The historic downtown DeFuniak Spring's spot, now known as The Busy Bee Cafe, has seen a lot of changes in its 100-plus year history.

Before it was serving lunch to the locals, the spot was a Greyhound bus station, a skating rink and automotive store and in it's conception, a hardware store. When DeFuniak Springs resident Dennis Ray purchased the building in 1992, he decided to turn it into a cafe. He was inspired by a lunch spot located a half a block away named The Busy Bee.

"We're not sure when exactly the cafe opened, but in old photos you can see cars parked in front that date back to 1916, so we can assume it was open around that time," Ray said.

In an effort to recreate history, Ray kept the aesthetic of the early 1900s.

Ray is passionate about historic DeFuniak Springs as he grew up in the area, and came back home after retiring from his professor position at Mississippi State University . He is chair of the Florida Chautauqua Center, Inc. and you can also find him most days behind the cash register at another one of his businesses, The Little Big Store. 

Many customers would comment the restaurant looked like The Whistle Stop cafe from the popular movie and book, "Fried Green Tomatoes."

"They began asking if we had fried green tomatoes on the menu, but we didn't," he said.

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