The co-founder of Bern’s Steak House in South Tampa has died.
Gertrude “Gert” Laxer died Tuesday in Tampa. She was 93.
She and her husband, the late Bern Laxer, moved to Tampa in the early 1950s. They opened a luncheonette and then purchased the Beer Haven bar, which eventually became Bern’s in 1956.
The restaurant started out with a single dining room with 40 seats. It now has eight dining rooms and can hold up to 350 guests, and is known for its extensive wine collection.
Their son, David Laxer, now runs the operation. It includes Bern’s, along with other restaurants and an ice cream and pastry parlor that serves as a tribute to his parents’ original venture.
“It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Gertrude ‘Gert’ Laxer, matriarch of Bern’s Steak House,” David Laxer said in a statement. “Her vision, strength and pragmatism is seen throughout all our restaurants. We will greatly miss her.”
Bern Laxer died in 2002.