Southern-fried restaurant Bernie’s will shut its doors next month, the Portland Mercury first reported. Owner Kellie Courtney said the space’s rising rent is forcing the restaurant out of its Alberta Street location, where it has sat for 20 years. “Our building is old and needs quite a few critical updates,” Courtney told the Merc. “They’re pretty intense, costly updates that would require a lengthy closure with a considerable increase in rent after the updates are complete. And all of that definitely puts us out of that market.”
Courtney is still eyeing potential new locations at a lower price point, though she’s not making any promises. The restaurant was known for its outdoor patio, the home of Soulful Sunday Brunch, Hot Chicken Wednesdays, and a funky backyard bar. The restaurant threw lowkey Mardi Gras parties, as well, complete with multicolored King Cake. Courtney posted a goodbye post on the restaurant’s Facebook, thanking her regulars for years of business. “I am so grateful for the love and support from our community for the past 20+ years, it fills my heart beyond words,” she writes. Courtney plans to update Eater if the restaurant finds a new home, so stay tuned.
Dear Bernie's friends/community/framily/fans... today I must deliver some very sad news. Bernie's will be closing. The...Posted by Bernie's Southern Bistro on Friday, September 7, 2018
• Bernie’s Southern Bistro [Official]
• Bernie’s Southern Bistro [Facebook]
• Bernie’s Southern Bistro is Closing on October 7 [Merc]
• See How Portland Does Mardi Gras at These 13 Restaurants, Mapped [EPDX]