WALLINGFORD — A new eatery at 350 Center St. is set to get buzzing —The Bees Knees Bistro, a breakfast and lunch spot, will open Saturday, Dec. 9.
Owners Jena Schlosser of Wallingford, Catherine Muzio of Durham and Patti Schlosser of Wallingford are excited to open what they call their best idea celebrating their love for food.‘True, real food’
“We as a whole love true, real food,” Jena Schlosser said. “So we’re going with pasture-raised eggs, pecan-smoked bacon, and trying to work with wholesome ingredients from the heart.”
The bistro will serve breakfast items such as The Basic Bee — two fried pasture-raised eggs with a choice of bacon or sausage topped with Cooper sharp American cheese on the diner’s choice of a fresh grilled and buttered bread and chocolate ciabatta roll or Lupi’s hard roll.
Catch A Redeye, a breakfast option, includes two fried pasture-raised eggs, a choice of bacon or sausage, two pancakes or waffles, and a crispy hash brown on the side with an option to add avocado.
The menu includes chicken and waffles, banana smash toast, wildberry toast, and other breakfast items.
For lunch, the Bee’s Board for two includes the chef’s selection of local and imported cheese and meats, accompanied by sweet and savory bits. Other lunch menu items include salad, sandwiches and burgers.‘A place of inclusion’
The menu includes gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.
“We wanted our place to feel like a place of inclusion,” Jena Schlosser said.
The chef, Reagan Wildman, became close friends with the trio, curating the menu since she joined the team in October.
Wildman’s boyfriend introduced Schlosser and Wildman after his company, Artisan Tile and Stone out of North Haven, did the tile work throughout the bistro.
Patti Schlosser said the idea of a bistro came to her when she saw the space available and mentioned the idea to her sister, Catherine Muzio. The 1,600-square-foot space used to be home to Cafe Ra.
“This was something that the both of us agreed on,” Patti Schlosser said. “When we brought it to our niece Jena, we knew this was something we had to do. Jena has experience in something like this.”
Jena honed her culinary skills at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Wildman, the bistro’s chef, is also a graduate.Where did bistro’s name come from?
The name Bees Knees came from a combination of things.
According to Patti Schlosser, it was a drink they used to have and an expression that their mother used.
“My grandmother used to say, ‘That was the bee’s knees of things,’” Jena Schlosser said. “My grandmother used to own Elite Lingerie here on Center Street, and that's why we like the area so much. When this was Cafe Ra, it was a trendy place.”
The trio grew up in the area, saw that the space was vacant for some time, and decided to check it out.
“I asked my sister if she wanted to check out the place and to my shock, she said yes,” Patti Schlosser said. “This is not something you can just walk into. You have to have a plan.”Making it unique
Since July, the three ladies worked to completely gut the place to make it uniquely theirs. Entering the bistro, honeycomb tiles start in front of the counter and go up to the top counter where customers can order.
The bistro has adequate space for working with a cup of coffee, meeting with friends and family, or even for a business meeting.
“We have an area set up with a counter where people can work,” Jena Schlosser said. “Underneath the counter, we have outlets where people can plug in their computers and even USB-C spaces so people can plug in their new iPhones.”
The bistro will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.