Penn Welcomes Bernie's Restaurant and Bar

Popular casual dining spot to open third location in University City 

Media Contact: Jennifer Rizzi, Director, Communications,  
Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services, 215.573.6107, 

Bernie’s Restaurant and Bar, a casual dining restaurant, will open a new location at the University of Pennsylvania this fall, announced Penn’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services . Known as a full-service independent American-style restaurant and bar serving quality food and drinks in a cozy neighborhood setting, Bernie’s presently operates two locations in southeastern PA: Glenside and Hatboro. 

In coordination with MSC Retail, a lease has been signed for 3432 Sansom Street, a 7,000 sq. ft. property among the iconic brick rowhomes around Penn’s campus.  Renovations to the space are ongoing — including plans for a fully redesigned interior, cozy back deck with fire pits, and outside café seating. 

The addition of a location in the city of Philadelphia made sense to Bernie’s owner, Eric Kretschman, who has successfully expanded the business from its start in 2011 in Oreland, PA. “Since I am both a Drexel and Penn alum (Fels Institute), this is more of a homecoming than a new business opening,” said Kretschman. “I loved University City and Penn’s campus 25 years ago, and I especially love the remarkable growth and positive changes since then. I think Bernie’s will be a great addition to Sansom Street and great restaurant option for students, parents, faculty and staff at the University.” 

The owner’s grandmother, known as Bernie, hosted a signature family event at her home in the form of Sunday Dinner every week for 35 years, bringing together more than 50 people with extended family and friends joining from the nearby neighborhoods.  The tradition of gathering continues at the restaurant where they have tried to recreate the popular Sunday Dinner atmosphere with great food, family and friends coming together for good times. 

Penn’s overall retail master planning guides the latest additions to shopping, dining, and services in Penn’s portfolio,” said Ed Datz, Penn’s  Executive Director of Real Estate. “We want to bring to the University community a vibrant mix of  retailers and refresh with new concepts, while looking at opportunities with local entrepreneur success stories,” said Datz. “We think that the people at Penn and in our neighborhood will respond favorably to Bernie’s menu and bar selections. Many of our staff and faculty  in the suburbs already know about this popular restaurant and enjoy Bernie’s welcoming atmosphere.” 

Learn more about Bernie’s Restaurant and Bar on their website,

About Penn Retail 
Penn’s retail district offers an inspired, contemporary shopping and dining experience, open to all. Spanning ten city blocks from 30th to 40th Streets and across Spruce, Walnut, and Chestnut Streets, the district features more than 75 curated shopping and dining outlets immersed in the region’s most beautiful and historic university campus. The diverse collection of retail offerings—including national brands and independent shops—provides the highest quality options at every price point for the Penn community, surrounding neighborhoods, and beyond. Visit Penn Shopping and Dining website for a full listing of retailers.