When I lived near the old Brookstown Inn on the south side of Winston-Salem’s downtown, Twin City Hive had my back and I never forgot. As it turns out, they have the back of the community, too.
Owners Joey Burdette and his husband Terry Miller — who recently served as grand marshals of Winston’s Pride Parade — uncompromisingly promote other small, locally owned business. Their coffee menu features six North Carolina roasters and high-quality products like tobacco-scented candles and clay ceramics from more than 20 local vendors, stacked in cabinet shelves under the glow of a pollen-yellow beehive chandelier.
The coffeeshop somehow strikes a balance between contemporary and rustic décor, and offers two distinct spaces to study, de-stress and socialize. Ample natural light filters into the room leading to the patio area. It brings to mind a certain brand of Instagram-friendly, minimalist coffeeshops popping up across the country with clean lines and a motley of succulents.
Across from the counter, a homier space offers seating for every need: burnt-orange couches, padded chairs near a gas fireplace and a larger table best for studying.
Ten ethereal and differently-shaped Edison bulbs float overhead, and if you pay close attention you’ll find a few candles flickering and a rack of blankets in a corner. It’s aggressively pleasant.
The space even offers a closed-door conference room with seating for 12 and an HDMI hook-up, but if you’re just passing through, your dog is welcome to join you in line.
The Hive’s well-trained baristas are consistent and friendly even when facing a long line of customers — something no one in the service industry really owes anyone.
A handful of triple-layer cakes and pastries, many made in-house, rest under glass. The prices are reasonable and the muffins aren’t sugar trips that will leave you crashing.
Other than trusty supply of bagels from Bagel Station, there aren’t many savory options, though. If your central goal is a something more substantial, I’d send you to Atelier on Trade Street or Camino on Fourth Street, where I suggest a scone or slice of quiche.
On that note, I want to be clear: I’m not endorsing Twin City Hive above and beyond all coffee joints in the Triad. What I’m saying is it’s the type of place with a “pay-it-forward” corkboard filled with sweet notes from other patrons who want to make your day a little better. A place relatively untouched by Winston-Salem’s insular circle of hip twenty- and thirtysomethings who can dominate the social atmosphere of other cafés and bars. A place where the owners remember little details about your life.
I’m saying it’s worth a trip south of downtown to find a place that welcomes you as you are.