Saving souls at Busy Bee Cafe
Tracy Gates, on the other hand, knows a lot about soul food. As the owner of Busy Bee Cafe, she was there on the day Killer Mike and Bernie Sanders visited for dinner, although she says she was so busy in the back that she didn’t realize what was going on. “I think I was on the phone ordering about seven turkeys, and my staff came back and told me they were coming by, and I just looked up. I don’t even think I made a sound. The next day people were blowing up my phone, sending pictures and asking why I didn’t tell them. I was like, ‘Shoot, I didn’t know!”
Tracy, 52 years old, inherited Busy Bee Cafe from her father Milton, who bought it from the original proprietor, Lucy Jackson, in 1982. It has been open since 1947, and she’s worked there for 20 years, from the bottom up. And although it is strangely not name-dropped in Goodie Mob’s infamous “Soul Food” song, Busy Bee Cafe is widely regarded as one of Atlanta’s most historic, respected, authentic and delicious soul food institutions.