Honey For Sale

Do you have a spare $485,000?

Realty Network Plus, a downtown real estate broker which recently closed deals including Via Vite and Morton’s (according to their website) seems to be marketing a few restaurant spaces right now: the former Balboa’s, Sully’s, and now Honey in Northside. After this was brought up on Twitter by @MayberryCincy, there was some discussion about how it’s been for sale for a year.

Anyone interested? I’m interested in the fact it’s for sale– it seems Honey does a great business, but I’m wondering why Doug and Shoshannah Hafner are trying to pull out after five years.

Any insight?



40 thoughts on “Honey For Sale”

  • Is it the space Honey occupies that’s up for sale? Or Honey as a business? If it’s just the space, a new owner might be happy to continue a lease with a going concern. Sure hope so. Honey is one of my favorite Cincy restaurants.

  • Julie,

    Ca you please clarify what you mean when you write that Realty Network Plus recently closed deals including Via Vite and Morton’s? Are either of these restaurants closing?? Tonto confused…..

  • Obviously the place is for sale because it is not makine enough money… Why would somebody sell a business that is raking in a bunch of cash? Money is always the reason!

    • Not really. A lot of successful resturant owners sell their place when it is doing well. That is when you canget the best price. Then move on and start a new one. This buisness is a very difficult one for sure. I see the place packed every weekend. Just Friday night my wife and I tried to go but could not physically get in the door. I will be very sad to see it go. I love having them in Northside.

  • Wow, JTM, you got that right. I can’t even read “Judie’s” last name. Julie, do you have any personal knowledge of this individual or her business? This screams “bogus” to me.

    • Yup, the business is all over the Business Courier because of their transactions– their latest appears to be the dueling piano bar in the former Havana Martini Club.

      • I meant, do you personally know Judie Whatever Her Name Is–what IS her name?–or do you personally know any of the individuals she’s supposedly “closed deals” for? Because it seems to me anyone with that kind of high-end business really really would have a functioning, professionally designed web site. It’s a red flag. Or it seems to me it should be. Not trying to attack you at all, just asking.

        • Nope, don’t know her personally. And I completely agree with you: I’m not sure if I’d be comfortable selling a business with someone whose web presence is so spotty.

  • Personal problems and legal problems that have led to financial problems is likely the answer. Check their involvement with an art space that was opened in Northside and then quickly closed in the last year.

    It’s too bad, as the restaurant is a jewel in Northside’s crown.

  • Julie,

    Did you call the owners at Honey’s and confirm any of this? I don’t think it’s for sale. I think you might owe some people an apology pretty soon.

  • Completely false…unless anyone does have half a million to offer!! Close friends with owners. Business is good and getting better all the time. Regarding Northside art space reference…only one-sided reporting. Everyone always so eager and willing to believe all the garbage/dirt they read. Eat more Honey!!

    • It’s as newsworthy as anything else. If they wanted it to be quiet, it could be kept that way– without a broker who posts full details on Craigslist. Often, when a restaurant is for sale, specifics aren’t given until someone makes a serious inquiry.

      If folks know it’s being sold, they might go in for “one last…”, bolstering business.

  • $485 seems cheap! I love this place, the food is excellent, service is great and it’s a fun atmosphere. There’s always a ton of customers in there, and I usually see 100+ people going about there way to the surrounding businesses. Several times I’ve seen folks shopping down the street, and then come in for a bite to eat. Seems like it should be worth 3 times what it’s being offered at. One of those rich old money West siders will probably swoop down and grab it. Can you say GOLDMINE?!?!? CHAAAAA-CHINGGGGG!!! I’m going in there ASAP to get some of those fried taters b4 they’re gone forever.

  • Wow what an awful website that broker has. Why would anyone look at that and say yes, I want them to sell my property. I find “Changing Downtown One Project at a Time” to be funny as well. The former spaces for Sully’s and Balboas has been empty for well over a year now, yep they sure are changing the downtown landscape!

    • The picture is of Baltimore’s skyline. Funny. Maybe that’s the downtown they are changing. (If it is they haven’t done a great job there either.)

  • I’ve done business with Judie and whole her website does suck, she’s probably the top independent commercial broker in town. Shame about honey. Great place.

  • Wow big news!!!
    Any business is for sale for the right price.
    Our business is strong and getting stronger.
    Maybe we’d like to try a different concept; ever think about that?
    We are restauranteurs, after all.
    For those of you who actually eat at Honey you know how nice it is and how much of a loyal following we have.
    This seems like a perfect opportunity for people who don’t know anything about this subject to submit their opinions.
    Thank you to all our patrons for five very successful years in a very tough business!
    Sincerely, Doug Hafner

    • Doug – Honey is our favorite restaurant. We mourned a bit when Boca went to Oakley (and turned into a place where we don’t feel very comfortable), but we love Honey’s food as much as we ever did that of its predecessor. Please keep up the good work!

  • God Bless You Mr. Hafner. I LOVE your place. It’s one of the very few reasons my wife & I decided to stay in the area. We are sick of driving to the East side to find a good meal at a fair price in a comfortable setting. You & your wife have a GREAT thing going there, and I think that fellow Chard is right, it’s worth a lot more! I’m going to call all of my East side industialist friends to let them know before Chard forms an LLC with his West side crooneys.

  • I don’t doubt that Honey is for sale but it wont be going anywhere at $485k. Is the chef included? Even if the building is included it’s too much. Maybe it would sell at $185k but I’m skeptical.

    There’s always the bigger fool I guess.

  • @factchecker – I know an artist whose work at the art space I’ve mentioned was put in great jeopardy soon after it was exhibited. This was an account told directly to me–I didn’t read a thing. Personally, Honey is my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati and I wish it many more years of success there. As you are a close friend, I hope you have helped this couple to resolve whatever problems created the disturbing situation that led to the speedy closing of an exhibition space that had had a lot of resources devoted to its launch–I’d hate for Honey to deteriorate for similar reasons.

  • @ C Brown – Hey C, this story is about an eatery, not some stupid art gallery. I could care less about that. It sounds like you’ve got a personal axe to grind here related to the art. Here’s one for you C – instead of being a HATER why don’t you take your energy and put it toward something peaceful. So tired of reading stories about a subject, and then someone chimes in about an unrelated issue. But in your mind I guess you can’t separate the two. Your bent on retaliation and vengence. It’s OK C I’ll pray for you instead of hating you. LOVE, Roland

  • When Honey sells, my husband and I will be sad – it’s hands-down our favorite restaurant in the city because it consistently presents thoughtful, delightful food at an astoundingly reasonable price point in a relaxed atmosphere where we feel equally comfortable wearing dress pants and ties or jeans and t-shirts. But we’ll be excited to see what the Hafners do next, and we’ll be hopeful that the new owner respects the culinary legacy of the space that housed both Boca and Honey.

    And really, it’s not so surprising. Honey changes its menu on a weekly basis, which speaks to Shoshanna’s relentless creative drive. After a while, I can understand such a creative person wanting to do something completely new.

  • @roland

    I’m not sure how I’m being a “hater” when I say that Honey is my favorite restaurant in town. Can you explain?

    And what I have to say is very relevant to this discussion, as Doug’s actions caused the other investors in that art gallery to pursue legal action towards his ruining of their investment. Pulling art off the walls and throwing it on the curb to be taken out with the trash is not something most artists or most investors in an art gallery appreciate. And I would think this situation would definitely impact the the Hofner’s efforts at Honey.

    Let me reiterate: I was extremely disappointed to hear about what I’ve described above, as 1. Honey is my *favorite* restaurant in town and 2. I am personally very invested in Northside’s success as neighborhood, and Honey has been a great anchor for the business district.

    And you can take your “prayers” and stuff them. Maybe you should spend a little less time doing something as useless as prayer and more time thinking and reading. If you were able to do so, you would have been able to understand why my comments were germane to any discussion of Honey’s future.

  • Honey is a great restaurant. Tell ’em I just sent some old friends there who were shut out at Chalk’s and they loved it! Shoshanna’s beer dinners have also been awesome. Julie is right though, hiring a broker and putting the deal on the internet for all to see is what let the cat out of the bag. Julie handled this well, and obviously readers and the community were interested in knowing.

    This being said, at the current asking price in the present economy, I don’t see Honey being sold just yet, not at close to that price. (Or so I hope. I love Honey as is.) I am a fan of Honey.

  • Note that the broker called the restaurant “Honey’s” in the craigslist ad.
    the adding an “s” to every restaurant name has always driven me crazy.

    Also, that website with a photo of the Baltimore inner harbor is possibly the worst website I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t let her sell a tuna fish sandwich until she improved on that.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve always had great meals at Honey.

  • Doug and Shoshanna are known coke-heads.  Doug used to work at Comair Airlines back in the day and was know as a user then!!!!!!!!   Shoshanna is the bitch from hell.  They stiffed their landlords in Walnut Hills years ago.

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