I really think that this place is a sort of a gem in a metropolis such as Tel Aviv where there are far too many bars that end up trying too hard to be too trendy, too pick-up-bar-ish or too unique. Then there are those who don't try hard enough and end up being weird and incongruous in design, or simply serve bad beer.
Stern1 bar is unique in that it isn't all that unique. The design is pretty small and intimate, and the music (which as I said before is always good) isn't ever too loud that you can't hear the person next to you. The food is very much bar food- (I recommend the french-fries, the hamburger, or one of their famous sausages) and it's never too greasy or too boring. The chairs are comfortable. The bar is nicely finished in a dark cherry wood. Their beer selection, which is extremely extensive, includes more than 20 international beers (and microbrews) on tap which, in such a small, low-key place, is quite impressive. In a nutshell, everything is just quality.
Since my last visit there, Stern1 has upgraded their bar and expanded. Their 20+ tap beers now line the entire bar with a sparkle of stainless steel. Moreover, they've put together a small, downstairs seating area with tall tables, tall chairs and an even taller ceiling. The new space is complimented by large window panes that, I imagine, in the summer will open out to the street, making for a great place to grab a bit or a cool drink on a Friday afternoon/evening.
But, what I really like best about the Stern1 - aside from the great beer, the atmosphere, the food and the music - is the service. After my second visit their, the bartender had my favorite beer (Belhaven Scottish Ale) down-pat. Now, the moment I walk in, she already knows what I'll order, and is happy to strike up a conversation. Plus, she almost always offers up a free chaser of a cool new spirit or liquor.
So, if you haven't been to the Stern1 yet, I hope I've convinced you that it's about time you go and check it out!
Addresss: Shtern 1 (On the corner of Yedid Ha Frenkel and Shtern Street in Florentin)
Hours: Sun-Sat, 18:00- last customer