The Foundation in the River Arts District might seem like an unlikely spot for a Hawaiian-themed restaurant and bar. But this is no tacky tiki bar. RosaBees is, instead, a sophisticated space, livened with custom flower murals from local artist Gus Cutty and brightened by gold touches and whimsical lighting.
No, RosaBees is not a tiki bar, though it will serve tiki-themed craft cocktails. It is instead an homage to Hawaii by owner Melissa Gray, the talented pastry chef behind Cakes by Gray.
It’s a love letter to the Pacific island state, writ in spicy mango margaritas rimmed with Hawaiian black lava salt. It’s brought to Asheville a Hawaiian menu with dishes like a scratch-made version of Spam musubi and impossibly fragrant garlic shrimp, a staple of Hawaiian shrimp trucks.
But why Hawaii? It opened itself up as a place of magic to Gray, who visited for her first time with no itinerary, no travel partner to meet.