For years, Angela Marino, a former hair salon owner, wanted to create something that would celebrate women. Her passion was so strong she came out of retirement to pursue her dream.
In October 2021, she opened The Honey Hive, a women-owned late-night destination for craft cocktails, desserts and snacks in Charleston, SC.
The front of the restaurant has a speakeasy-style bar geared toward the pre-dinner crowd, while the back acts more like a lounge area with a glass enclosed private dining space called the Bubble Room.
The 4,000-square foot spot not only features cocktails with the names of powerful women – think The Elizabeth Taylor (a chocolate martini) and The Eartha Kitt ( a whiskey and apple cider concoction) – the Bubble Room invites women to release their inhibitions. The room, reads the restaurant’s website copy, “is designed for gladrag wearing, champagne drinking and table dancing merriment.”
Bottom line: The adage women should be seen and not heard is playfully upended in the lounge’s soundproof VIP area where “debauchery is du jour.”
“I wanted to provide a space where women can let loose while also being respectful of the other guests,” Marino said.
To make everyone feel comfortable, she’s placed a strong emphasis on aesthetics. Everything is thoughtfully curated, from the wallpaper to the small details in the bathrooms to celebrate femininity and beauty. The walls of the restaurant, in fact, feature sketches of diverse women by local artist Lucy Boland.
As for the emphasis on cocktails, she added, “When I think of celebrating women, I think of clinking together a glass of champagne. It’s what makes women bond.”
There’s also dessert. Pastry chef Payton Williams has created a menu featuring items such as Peanut Butter Crème Brûlée, Foie Gras Cannolis and the restaurant’s signature Kinsey Cake, a honey-soaked chocolate cake named after Marino’s niece.
The Honey Hive also serves brunch with items such as ham and cheese croquettes, brioche donuts and tomato pie. “The menu is seasonal to ensure that the ingredients are fresh,” said Marino.
Then of course, there’s girl talk. “Our incredible team of women has provided a space for women to celebrate each other,” said Marino. “I hope that visitors can make The Honey Hive a place for celebrations with the people who matter most to them.”
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