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Bumblebee’s is reborn as family restaurant

March 27, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,

"I say, trouble right here in River City...

"Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.

Article Photos

Karen Musgrave with the new look for Bumblebee’s in downtown Toledo where the old “pool hall” atmosphere has been transformed into a family setting for meals, parties and gatherings. Noon lunches and food service in the evenings have been added to the long-time pizza offerings in the former bar area. Chronicle/John Speer

"Pockets that mark the difference

"Between a gentlemen and a bum,

"With a capital "B,"

Fact Box

Bumblebee's Pizza and Smore

110-112 North Broadway


Ph. 641-484-8411

Open Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon-Fri

Evenings 4 p.m.- close Mon-Sat

Closed Sunday

"And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!..."

-"Ya Got Trouble" Lyrics from Meredith Willson's The Music Man

Well, after 45 years in the "pool hall business" in downtown Toledo, Karen Musgrave is not suggesting there's trouble- nor is she getting rid of pool exactly. Rather, you could say in today's word she's "transitioning" in 2019 from the bar business to the restaurant business featuring what Karen says is "a place for families to enjoy." In addition meetings, birthday and private parties and groups will be welcomed.

That's right- Karen says "No foolin'"- on April Fool's Day next week - April 1- Bumblebees Beer and Billiards will become "Bumblebees Pizza and Smore."

In the storefront occupied by Bumblebee Pool and Billiards, the antique backbar is gone, (a bit more later in this story) there's new flooring, the walls have been recovered with a light shade of wood paneling and new lighting is in place. There's lots of modern seating with booths and tables. New front windows have been installed and new exterior lighting give a new look to exterior.

Noon Lunches Added

Noon lunches will be served from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. There will be a daily lunch special, continuation of the array of sandwiches offered with sides and the full line of pizzas and pizza by the slice. There's a now a gluten-free pizza with the crust created from cauliflower offered along with breakfast pizza to be served at noon and night.

She's bringing back the "Tastee-Freez" footlongs and Jet Burgers on Fridays, too.

The adjacent Bumblebee's Pizza continues operation with carry-out available in conjunction with the new restaurant offering. Your favorite cocktails, beer and wine will continued to be offered in both spaces.They will be from a serving station in the pizza preparation area.

Now for the pool players and video gamers (Golden Tee Golf in particular a long-time favorite) the eastern portion still is reserved for these activities. A juke box provides music and several big screen TVs are provided. She hopes it becomes a spot for an after school stop for students.

"The bar business isn't what it was 10 years ago," Karen says of the decision to remake the family business. Bumblebee's antique back bar which came from a downtown Tama tavern a number of years ago. was sold to West End Architectural Salvage in Des Moines. That business, operated by Don Short, features an inventory of "furniture to stained glass to doors to tin panels."

Karen says Short first tried to buy the back bar from her late husband, Don Musgrave, about five years ago. It will be featured in a new business in Des Moines, Karen says.



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