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The lost restaurant chain which sold £6 steaks and 75p cheesecakes

It was a really popular place back in the day

The Berni logo was seen in many parts of the country

The faces of Wales' eating establishments is in a constant state of flux. Amid all the pressures that hospitality businesses are dealing with, many popular eateries and pubs are struggling. Historically there have been many once well-known names that have come and gone (just ask Little Chef).

One name that once had 147 hotels and restaurants was Berni Inn. The chain of British steakhouses was established in 1955 by brothers Frank and Aldo Berni. The modelled their restaurants on what they had they had seen in America and gave the decor Tudor-looking false oak beams and white walls.

There was actually one in Cardiff in what is now O’Neills in Trinity Street. Cardiff historian Brian Lee wrote about it: “There’s a bit of history to the place. The Victorian building was previously known as the New Market Hotel and has been a pub for over 100 years. Olivia Newton-John’s father Brinley was born here.

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"In fact, it was originally called the New Market Inn and had an opening into Church Street. I well remember the Spanish wine waiter who used to be there during the 1960s when we used to go there on Saturday nights for a steak and chips meal. I think it was a Berni Inn back then."

Unlike other restaurants, Berni Inns did not do their own butchery but bought in quality steaks already prepared. Behind the scenes, staff training manuals showed that they expected high standards from their employees.

The chain was sold to Grand Metropolitan for £14.5 million in 1970 and then to Whitbread in 1995, who converted the outlets into their own Beefeater restaurants.

The most frequently ordered meal, even as late as the 1980s, was prawn cocktail, steak and Black Forest gateau. Below are some pictures of the iconic restaurant.

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