After Emmanuel Benardos opened Bernie's Diner in Moss Vale in 1925, the Governor-General popped in for a milkshake. He soon became a regular.
On Sunday, March 3, Benardos' grandson Ioannis reopens Bernie's, part of a new local movement reinventing milkbars and diners.
He'll even serve the same milkshake his grandfather did.
“We've got the original syrup recipe, no preservatives, fresh ingredients and organic sugar,” Benardos says.
Part of the new breed of uptown restaurant talent putting some gloss on lower end food offerings, Benardos joins US chef Dan McGuirt, who recently opened Jazz City Milk Bar at Republic2, and former Manly Pavilion head chef Tony Gibson who is opening a New York style deli in East Sydney.
Benardos' partner at Bernie's Diner, located at 402 Argyle Street, Moss Vale is Giuliano Colosimo, a graduate of the kitchen at Icebergs Dining Room & Bar.
“We'll do pastrami and corned beef, but it was always a blackboard menu when my grandfather was here, and we'll reproduce some of those Greek classics like braised lamb shoulder and spanakopita,” Benardos says.
“The family sold the business in 1957 after my grandfather died, but kept the building. It has had about five different sets of tenants since. When I wanted to do my own place it felt like a good spot to do it. We've gone for an old-school take with the interior, with elements of art deco from its early days with a 1950s-style update.”