Celebrity chef adds fancy inn to his roster of 9 New Jersey restaurants
🍽 Celeb chef David Burke adds to his NJ restaurant roster
🍽 The Bernards Inn is a 116-year-old landmark
🍽 NJ native Burke has deep roots in his home state
Celebrity chef and Monmouth County native David Burke has added The Bernards Inn to his collection of award-winning New Jersey restaurants.
With the historic venue in Somerset County, Burke now has 10 properties in NJ — nine restaurants and a landmark bakery that he saved from closing.
Burke grew up in Hazlet and attended Raritan High School, before then graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and Ecole Lenotre Pastry School in Plaisir, France.
He has a total of 19 current restaurants under his watchful eye — including in New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina and in Saudi Arabia.
All of celeb chef David Burke's NJ restaurants, bakery
🍽 Burke’s NJ roots include annual scholarship at Brookdale
Starting in fall 2021, he established the David Burke Scholarship at Brookdale Community College. His annual donation of $10,000 pays tuition for two students every year – one a culinary arts major, the other majoring in hospitality management.
Burke’s April 2022 purchase of the 89-year-old Dixie Lee Bakery saved it from closure.
He now has been working to make Dixie Lee products nationally available, as well as building Red Horse by David Burke as a steakhouse brand — with a second such location beyond Rumson in White Plains, NY.
This past February, the popular South Orange eatery, Fox & Falcon became Fox & Falcon by David Burke.
🍽 Bernards Inn will return to ‘its glory days,’ chef promises
“This is one of New Jersey’s greatest, iconic properties. We are bringing it back to its glory days,” Burke said of the 116-year-old, landmark property in downtown Bernardsville.
The property at 27 Mine Brook Road includes a main bar/lounge area and two yet-to-be-named restaurants.
A larger, main fine dining restaurant features 120 seats on the upper level while a slightly smaller, 100-seat area – formerly the Silver Vault and Wine Pantry - is on the lower level.
Bernards Inn also includes a banquet hall for private events with a 200-seat capacity — as well as an outdoor dining patio with 30-40 seats.
The bar and lounge area were currently under renovations as of late July — while lunch and dinner service would continue in the main dining room, wine cellar and on the patio.
For the décor, Burke has shared plans to “echo the area’s equestrian theme” alongside similar touches featured at his Red Horse restaurants in Rumson and White Plains, New York.
Among its historic touches that will steadfastly remain — a staircase that was once in the original Hotel Plaza in New York City.
“We are looking forward to creating a must-go, top of its class and quintessential dining experience focused totally on the guest experience,” Burke also said in a written release.
He continued “I have a great respect for New Jersey’s historic businesses and I get a kick out of infusing them with new vigor and fun ensuring they continue into the future. When I walk in the Bernards Inn I feel its greatness like an old stadium or theater. I think, wow, if these walls could talk.”
Under a partnership with the inn’s owner, Hampshire Destination Properties, David Burke Hospitality Management would oversee the food and beverage service component of the hotel.
Later, Burke and his executive team would also be managing the hotel’s operations and its 20 luxury guest rooms.
The Bernards Inn has the status of both AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel.
“We are excited to partner with Chef David Burke with his excellent reputation for owning and operating numerous award-winning restaurants,” Alex Imperatore, owner and Senior Real Estate Manager of Morristown-based Hampshire Companies, said in the same release. “We feel it is time to raise the bar and infuse The Bernards Inn with new energy and an updated concept.”