Named after co-owner Dominic Hare's grandad, Bernie's offers Birkdale locals a venue that has the comfort of a pub with quality food. Upon entering the front part of Bernie's you'd be forgiven for thinking it was your standard café. Once you venture out the back you are greeted by an aesthetically pleasing iron spiral staircase, polished brick floors and a vista of windows that bathe the room in natural light.
Just like traditional a British pub, Bernie's feels like somewhere you could be comfortable for breakfast lunch and dinner. In the summer days, their garden allows you to make the most of Auckland's weather with monthly outdoor events and barbecues, generating a community atmosphere.
The American-inspired menu boasts many simple yet satisfying options including a selection of hoagies, which come served with the classic pairing of potato crisps and a gherkin. There are four types of hoagies available, ranging from a grilled vegetarian option to the more classic chicken and ham sandwiches. Hare's personal favourite is the Wawa that mixes prosciutto, salami with cheese and crisp lettuce. The optional extras of red wine vinegar, jalapenos and onion are encouraged.
Breakfast options range from bowls filled with vegetable goodness to breakfast butties packed with scrambled egg, cheese and glazed ham. For those wanting a caffeine hit, Wellington's Peoples Coffee provides the beans, while those seeking a clean option will be satisfied by the smoothie and kombucha flavours available. After hours the bar features Dr Rudi's craft brews on tap.
Just as the menu suggests, the service and dining are eloquently casual. The staff are attentive to your requests and both Dominic and his brother appear to enjoy an opportunity to chew the fat.
With the owners being locals their aim of creating a space that families and professionals can both enjoy is something that many similar Auckland suburbs will be envious of. Many will happily enjoy spending their week or weekend dining and drinking at Bernie's.