When someone says “Weekend at Bernie’s,” you likely think of the movie, not a club.

And when someone says “Old Orchard Beach,” your initial instinct is to probably think of the famous Pier and not all the other bars that branch out from the hub down East Grand and West Grand avenues.

Well, if you’re not interested in a movie and are more interested in a different bar, head over to Weekend at Bernie’s Beach Club. The club is located upstairs overlooking West Grand Avenue, Palace Playland and the beach.

If you weren’t looking up as you walked by, you’d likely miss the sign, which features a sketch of Bernie from the movie. You may also bypass the stairs on the side of the building that lead you to the entrance.

A sign right out front advertises karaoke every night starting at 9. When my friend Kirsten and I walked in around 7:30 on a Friday evening, there was some music playing and a few people grabbing drinks at the bar.

We found a spot at the end of the bar to stand and wait to order drinks. I’ll give the club the benefit of the doubt that it’s the beginning of the summer season for Old Orchard Beach business and that may mean some new staff, but we waited a long time. Twenty minutes, to be exact. Waiting that long at a bar on a really busy summer night may be normal, but this bar wasn’t that busy.

Kirsten ordered a Captain Morgan’s and Coke, and I ordered a Tanqueray and tonic. Each drink cost $7.25. I’d say that’s a little pricey, given that the drinks were served in clear plastic cups, but I understand the establishment not wanting people with glass perching on bar stools on a patio one story above the street.

While there was enough seating inside, we decided to take our drinks onto the patio. It was a cool evening, but it was well worth being cold for a little bit of people watching, which included a guy dancing across the street to the music of the club. (Ironically, the man kind of looked like the movie character Bernie who, though still dead in “Weekend at Bernie’s II,” starts dancing when music is played.)

Movie references aside, the club is actually named for owner Bernie Orne, whom I met last year while doing some reporting down in OOB. While Kirsten and I opted to order mixed drinks, the club offers beer on tap and in bottles, a fully stocked bar and a rainbow of Jell-O shots.

Take an afternoon break from the sun and get a cold drink while still being able to enjoy the beach. Or swing back to the beach after a day of tanning for some evening karaoke and a small dance floor, where you can shake it like Bernie — the one from the movie, not the owner.

Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.


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