27 Jul: Let’s Go To Berni Inn

Famous for steaks, maroon banquettes, schooners of sherry and sexist advertising, family restaurant chain and ‘70s date night favourite Berni Inn first opened its doors at the historic Bristol pub The Rummer on 27th July, 1956. 

Founded by Frank and Aldo Berni, the American-inspired concept had a staggeringly simple menu, so that customers wouldn’t be intimidated and, more importantly, so that the kitchen could be operated by virtually anyone who could use a grill and a deep-fat fryer.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how the Berni brothers whipped up excitement for each new restaurant opening; reveal how their much-mocked menu actually introduced millions of patrons to some international staples; and highlight how the modern-day Beefeater pub chain still pays tribute to its Berni beginnings…

Further Reading:

• ‘Berni Inn Menu, 1973’ (RetroWow, 2022): https://www.retrowow.co.uk/food_and_drink/eating_out/berni_inn_menu.html

• ‘Obituary: Frank Berni’ (The Guardian, 2000): https://www.theguardian.com/news/2000/aug/01/guardianobituaries1

• ‘You’re Better Off At A Berni Inn’ (Advert, 1982):