Alma Rodriguez, aka Queen Bee
Alma Rodriguez is meeting with city officials to launch a Queen Bee’s in Oceanside.
Since 2009, the Puerto Rican–born impresario has hosted bands, poetry slams, and swing, salsa, and samba dance lessons at the 250-capacity Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center in North Park. She says she has spent more than $150,000 in building improvements over the years on a building she does not own.
3925 Ohio Street, San Diego
That building, built in the ’30s as the first Dixieline Lumber store, is owned by Alan Hitch Jr., who says he has declined offers of $2.5 million to sell it and would rather keep it as an active community arts center.
Rodriguez operated coffee shops with open mics at two other locations before opening Queen Bee’s eight years ago. She says she picked the name because of an article in the Reader that referred to her as the queen bee of the local arts scene.
Rodriguez prefers to not get into specifics about the Oceanside Queen Bee’s except to say that it is planned for a 5000-square-foot former bank building.