Those who know Birkdale will know a place called Verrans Corner. Situated at a roundabout where almost all of the suburb’s arterial routes meet, it is here that a new neighborhood eatery, Bernie’s, has cropped up much to the delight of local residents.
The place is run by an experienced young couple, Liz Gray and Dominic Hare. Local residents themselves, the timing was right to take up tenancy in the address that was formerly Verrans Bar & Bistro, and before that, fine dining institution, Whites. The duo has plowed ahead with great consideration to the community around them, with the aim of creating something that was foremost friendly and approachable with some delicious fare to boot.
Having spent time in both San Sebastián, Spain, and the East Coast of the USA, the pair has combined their aptitude for European hospitality with gratifying American-inspired food. The menu, which ranges from brekkie and lunch (on Mondays and Tuesdays) right through to dinner for the rest of the week, features a selection of hoagies with the essential accompaniment of potato crisps and a gherkin. Retro servings of rotisserie chicken, french fries and gravy are in the mix as well as classic salads and club sandwich inspired platters.
Those visiting for breakfast can dig into healthy bowls of the gluten- and dairy-free ‘Coco Loco’ with puffed amaranth, coconut yoghurt and stewed seasonal fruit, or the satisfying ‘Goodness Gracious’ — poached eggs on roast carrots, avocado, beetroot kraut and silverbeet. There’s Wellington’s Peoples Coffee streaming out of the espresso machine and when the clock ticks over to midday (or, if necessary, before then) Dr. Rudi’s beer from the tap and a tantalising line-up of cocktails: ‘black and white’ espresso martinis, margaritas, black raspberry Amaretto sours.
The multi-faceted space, which appears to be only a pared-back yet inviting cafe from the street front, boasts an incredible tiled dining room with beautiful arched iron windows out back. The unique interior backs onto an al fresco bar area which is shared by the neighbouring businesses and is already being used for monthly American BBQs held by Gray, Hare and co.
With a sense of community at the core of the Bernie’s ethos, we can understand why this eatery, having only been open a week, is already going down a treat.
Visit their Instagram account here.
Bernie's Bay & Eatery
6/8 Birkdale Road
(09) 217 3458