Happy Hour Hideaway – Bernie’s (Chicago)

Tried “Bernie’s Lunch & Supper” today for a quick bite and a cocktail with a friend. I was pleasantly surprised at the amenities I found in this pocketed jewel:

1. Parking and privacy

For those who choose to drive, there is easy street parking on two adjacent blocks (N Orlens and Erie) and in the neighboring lot… a few taps on the ParkChicago app and you’re all set, steps away from the establishment.

Otherwise, it was a quick hop off the CTA Brown line! Worth the trip.

2. Decently priced drinks
The happy hour menu was full enough for a quick swig but not overbearing. 

The sangria has a hint of spice, but isn’t boasting full of alcohol. The flavor is refreshing and just what you need on a hot summer day. My friend raved about the “bubbles” (shown here)- a light airy spirit to give your pallet just what you need to quench your thirst.

3. Rooftop Atmosphere with Option of A Restaurant Feel

The establishment actually hosts on 2 of the 3 floors it comprises. The main level being full of close-knit tables and high tops, with a clear view of the kitchen.

For ladies like us who like to bask in the sun or feel a nice breeze while we dine, the rooftop is the way to go. MAKE A RESERVATION! (We were told the wait was 2.5hr before we informed them of our existing reservation). The rooftop was spacious and covered to give just the right balance between “outdoor” dining and “protecting from the elements”… you won’t get sunburn up here! All equipped with a full bar – and boy was there a crowd!


The decor was welcoming and probably looks quite romantic at night.

4. Flavor

Although we just ordered tapas, the flavor was all that we could ask for! I ordered the meatballs and they were so soft they melted in my mouth! The flavor was PERFECT! A great balance of cheese and herbs and enough attention to tenderizing the meat so it didn’t give that heavy, overbearing aftertaste. Hats off to Ryan Sand, Chef.

My friend had the Patatas Bravas, nice blend of seasoned potatoes with a light crunch and a soft inside. Noticeable sea salt seasoning and a balance of texture and flavor with the garlic aioli dipping sauce.

5. Service

Our waitress, Kyla, was very courteous and always available when we needed her. No complaints at all. Customer service was exactly what we would expect from a local establishment like Bernie’s – warm and welcoming.

Overall, I give it a 7/10. The “2.5hr wait” seemed a hoax. Although it was crowded, there were empty tables on both levels, and it definitely wasn’t the type of place you’d stand in line that long to dine at. Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice place, but not on the level to have a waitlist the length of your arm warranting a 2.5hr wait. I think that was more of a ploy to trump up the scene and boost the appearance of exclusivity.  The remainder of the menu left a bit to be desired in terms of description and price.  I like to visualize what I’m ordering as I peruse the menu. Theirs doesn’t give descriptions to make you desire the dish.  And for a $17 burger (with no fires included) I think I need to imagine its worth the buck.  The portion size of the appetizers we had were plentiful. Not regarded as “tapas” customarily (more equivalent to simple appetizers) but for a lady who likes to EAT, it was a perfect tapas size for me 🙂

Overall, I’d say the restaurant is good for a quick drink and dash after work. I’ll have to come back in the evening to get a full feel for all it has to offer.


BerniesLunchAndSupper website

Check them out, tell us what you think!

~D’Lorah Denise~

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