Welcome to Bernie's

At her new Minnesota restaurant, Molly Yeh brings locals together to celebrate Midwestern comfort food.

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

No one is a stranger for long at Bernie’s, the café, restaurant and marketplace that Molly Yeh just opened in East Grand Forks, MN. The Girl Meets Farm host named the spot after her first daughter, and she put her whole heart into every detail. "My dream was to celebrate the food of the Midwest, which I love so much, and create a place where everyone — farmers, construction workers, families, friends — would feel comfortable," she says. On the menu: regional specialties like hotdish and cheese curds; foods that reflect the local German and Scandinavian heritage, such as knoephla soup (dumpling and potato soup) and a lefse dog; and baloney and cheese from local purveyors. "The last great bread bakery in town closed years ago," says Molly, so she put 10-plus types of bread on the café menu. She also worked hard to preserve the details of the historic building, including the distinctive horseshoe bar — the first of its kind in America. "Opening a restaurant is a big deal. It took a village to get this up and running." If all goes well, she jokes, next up will be Ira’s Bagels, named after Bernie’s baby sister. Take a look around, then try a recipe from the menu!

Modern Art Deco

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

The art deco building was originally home to Whitey’s, a beloved restaurant with a history as a speakeasy.

Community Feeling

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

"I hope all the love we've put into Bernie's will expand and the community will feel it," Molly says.

Extra-Special

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Bernie’s indoor "greenhouse" can be reserved for special events.

Just Like Home

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Molly bought a mix of vintage diner plates to play up Bernie’s homey feel, and she filled the menu with snacks and share plates. Her smorgasbord includes ham and cheese and Danish rye (aka rugbrod) you can dip into a soft-boiled egg.

Folk-Art

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Molly commissioned woodworkers to build the tables and the signature crayon holders, modeled after Swedish folk-art Dala horses.

Write This Way

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Three-year-old Bernie makes a beeline for the café’s chalkboard whenever she visits. Her dad, Nick Hagen, took a break from the farm to help draw flowers.

Time to Shop

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Bernie’s is open for breakfast, lunch and happy hour. The marketplace sells grab-and-go meals along with kitchenware, specialty items like Molly’s favorite tahini from Seed + Mill in New York City, and copies of her recent book, Home Is Where the Eggs Are.

Dig In!

Photo by: Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Now that you've taken a tour of Bernie's, treat yourself to a this Beany Briny Salad that's featured on the eatery's menu!

Story Credits:

All photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen for Food Network Magazine.

Story text written by Monica Michael Willis for Food Network Magazine.

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