Bernie's Beach Bar Opens
By Jill Frank
Hampton Beachcomber, June 6-12, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Beachcomber and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON BEACH — This summer Hampton Beach will be the home to a new bar that is sure to stand out. What is this new bar, you may ask? It's Bernie's Beach Bar, located at 73 Ocean Blvd. With not only an untraditional dress code for customers and a menu featuring special drinks, this bar will surely gain much attention from Hampton beachgoers this upcoming summer.
Albert Fleury, Owner of Bernie's Beach Bar, said he can't wait for the bar to open on June 14. "We have created a very casual bar that we hope will just be a great time for anyone that wants some drinks or food," says Fleury.
Perhaps what makes this bar so casual is the dress code for its customers. "We want customers to feel comfortable in coming right off the beach and stepping into our bar," said Fleury.
Because of this, Bernie's will encourage customers to wear their beach attire. Fleury says that as long as customers wear shoes or sandals, it doesn't matter if they are in a bikini or jeans and a t-shirt, anyone will be served.
Fleury believes that is one thing that will make Bernie's stand out from the other bars in town.
"We really want to keep up that complete beach feeling while customers are here," said Fleury. "Customers can sit out on our large patio in their bathing suits and feel like they haven't even left the beach."
To keep the beach atmosphere, Bernie's will also have live bands. Most of the music will be reggae style or other 'island' type genres. While some bars and restaurants in town only feature live music a couple times a week, Bernie's hope they will have it every night.
The bar also plans to put extra effort into the drinks they will serve their customers, by using only natural ingredients. "Unlike so many other bars, we will shy away from using artificial flavors and juices in our drinks, and instead use real fruit and fresh juices."
According to Fleury, Bernie's will likely be one of the most inexpensive bars on the Hampton strip. "We want it to be a spot that anyone can go to. One of the best ways to do that is to have good prices," stated Fleury.
But don't forget the food. Bernie's will have a full dining menu, featuring mostly seafood but other food too, such as burgers and sandwiches. "Our menu will continue to achieve that beach feel since customers are offered choices like Island Grilled Pork Chops and Grilled Mahi Mahi."
Brittany Groulx, Manchester, says she can't wait to visit Bernie's Beach Bar. "It sounds like a really cool place to go this summer when I visit the beach," Groulx stated. "It will be cool to go to a place in Hampton that really is a full-on beach bar."
Groulx isn't the only N.H. resident looking forward to the opening of Bernie's. Many annual Hampton tourists look forward to checking out the new bar this coming summer.
"I heard they have drinks like fresh fruit mojitos on their menu," said Samantha Sloane, Merrimack. "I'd really like to try those."
Bernie's will open on June 7 and hopes to become one of the best bars in Hampton. With such a casual atmosphere and the ability to keep up that beach feeling, Bernie's Beach Bar has great potential in not only being successful but quite popular for Hampton customers.
Bernie's Beach Bar Now Open
Hampton Union, July 16, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Bernie's Beach Bar held a grand opening on July 5. [Brian Ward photo]
HAMPTON — Hampton Beach officially kicked into summer mode July 5th, with the highly anticipated grand opening of Bernie's Beach Bar.
The new Bernie's Beach Bar rolled out the red carpet on the deck for a ribbon cutting ceremony July 5, followed by live authentic reggae music, fresh healthy food, new drink specials and a champagne toast.
Pat Morgenstern of the Hampton Area Chamber celebrated the grand opening with Al Fleury, owner of Bernie's, Erica Chorebanian, and, of course, Bernie, their dog.
Amongst having the new most spectacular view on the beach with the largest outdoor deck overlooking the ocean, the lineup of food and entertainment coming this summer being offered is definitely stirring up conversation up and down the seacoast of New Hampshire.
"There's nothing like this on the front strip," said Al Fleury
Fleury said the new restaurant is cooking a variety of eclectic foods ranging from conch fritters, and Jamaican jerk mahi-mahi, to a more delicious blend of lobster rolls and clam chowder.
Bernie's menu has been designed to whisk your taste buds away to a tropical island, yet still offer you to enjoy the classic New England food that people have come to know and love.
Entertainment is another attraction for this new establishment to really leave an imprint on people's minds when they attend. Bernie's will be hosting numerous events this summer, such as Christmas in July, a Hawaiian Luau with pig roast, Fiesta, and a 50's Beach party.
For more details on what live music, and events are scheduled please visit Berniesbeachbar.com
Inside (well, as inside as you can get) at Bernie's Beach Bar. [Brian Ward photo]
Bernie's owner to fight restrictions
By Nick B. Reid
Hampton Union, July 19, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — Bernie's Beach Bar owner Al Fleury made up his mind to sue the town before he even made it out of the Town Offices on Monday night.
"I'm going to go to my truck and call my lawyer," Fleury said, adding he feels the town's Board of Selectmen are knowingly inhibiting his business by forbidding him from making any sound above the ambient noise level outdoors after 11 p.m.
Fleury said he's still going to keep his TVs on and music playing at what he feels is a level that abides by the rules — because a silent bar isn't a popular one. He said he's unsure how the town will respond.
After the initial decision was made two weeks ago to only allow Bernie's entertainment license permissions to go till 11 p.m., Fleury stuck around until the end of that meeting to get a chance to clarify with selectmen. He left thinking there would be no problem with running TVs and radios.
On Monday, selectmen Chairman Dick Nichols said he reviewed the wording used at that meeting, and he felt the board had never given the OK for radios to make noise above the buzz of the night air.
"I tried to clarify it and make everyone happy," Fleury said. "And they say, 'Well, no, because it's worded like this and you want it like this; we're not going to let you have anything.' It's just a bummer."
Selectman Mike Pierce said the board thoroughly considered its decision
"We conferred with the town attorney; we looked at all the rules and regulations and ordinances and so forth," he said. "I think we did a significant amount of research on this because we knew it was a different type of issue with it being basically outside."
Pierce said he didn't want to comment at length out of respect for the possible forthcoming litigation.
Fleury said the selectmen's move fits in with a pattern of unfair treatment specifically targeting him and his restaurants, which also include Wally's Pub.
"It's because I'm 32-year-old Al from Wally's. I'm not a 75-year-old rich guy from Kennebunkport," he said. "Would they have the same restrictions on him coming down and putting millions of dollars into the beach? No."
He said he never thought the restrictions would be so severe.
"I had no idea that the selectmen would knowingly, purposely restrict the growth of a business like this," he said. "It will cost jobs and a lot of money for a lot of people."
He said the selectmen are out of touch with the scene at the beach.
"I've been down the beach 10 years, and I've never seen any of them, never once. They don't go down there," he said. "They don't know what (it means) to shut the TVs off at a bar at 11 o'clock.
"To every other normal, intelligent person in town, that's an asinine, ridiculous statement to make. But those people don't see it as that because they don't live that lifestyle."
Bernie's has had so many customers there's been a wait every day since the restaurant opened, Fleury said. He said his computer system can prove how much money the business makes per minute, which will allow him to illustrate damages in court caused by the decision.
He also said he's received formal support from nearly all his neighbors, except for the owners of the Sea Harris Ranch — who spoke to the benefits of keeping the beach lively during a public hearing on the noise ordinance — and one man who also was present and spoke up during the same hearing.
"I had a letter from 46 parcel owners in the area," he said, including every abutter on L street, M street and five blocks down Ocean Boulevard. "They said none of that matters. I said that's all the neighbors; those are the people who are going to be affected."
Fleury said the treatment he's getting "stinks" because he's "a Hampton guy."
"I own 14 houses here. I own two restaurants. I live right there," he said, pointing out of the Town Offices. "I'm for this town. I paid 200-something hundred thousand dollars of taxes last year. I don't have any kids in school. I donate to everything I can. And they just make it hard; they make it really hard. It just stinks. I don't feel like its fair."
Fleury started an online petition Tuesday so his backers could "help Bernie's Beach Bar to be treated as an equal to the rest of the businesses on the beach."
As of Thursday afternoon, it already tallied more than 430 signatures.