Why Bern’s Steak House Remains Tampa Bay’s Finest Restaurant

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In a sea of franchise establishments and low-key dive bars, it’s not hard to see how Bern’s Steak House stands out in the Hyde Park area or Tampa Bay in general.

Starting Small

Bern’s launched in 1956, when New York transplants, Bern and Gert Laxer, expanded their luncheonette by buying the Beer Haven Bar. While the Laxers were equal partners, they repurposed existing letters from the Beer Haven sign to Bern’s, planning to add Gert’s name later.

Unfortunately, the landlord, a teetotaler who had not approved the sale, threatened to terminate their lease. Extra money went into transforming the bar into a restaurant, becoming Bern’s Steak House. Over the years, Bern & Gert bought the adjoining shops, slowly expanding from a 40-seat dining room to one that could hold 350 or more.

In 1985, they used redwood wine casks to create 48 private rooms within the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. It features nearly 50 special desserts, wines and aperitif’s.

Aged to Perfection

But more than a unique space, Bern’s, now specializes in prime, cut to order steaks, served with organic vegetables grown on their own local farm. They boast the largest collection of wines in any restaurant. Add that to their world-famous dessert room, and Bern’s offers a unique “gastronomical adventure” with every experience.

Since the 1990’s, Bern’s has placed high on, or topped, nearly every list of the top restaurants in America. Rachael Ray, Wine Spectator and even former President George W. Bush have enjoyed and praised Bern’s culinary experience.

Before & After

Bern passed in 2002, with their son David stepping up to help Gert run the steak house. Just prior to the Governor closing all restaurants in the state, Bern’s shifted to a delivery model. In a ground-breaking move, Bern’s offered a limited prepared menu at an extreme discount. And they offer raw steaks for customers to grill on their own.

Sadly, Gert passed away in April of this year. David continues to maintain the family’s businesses, including their charity work: supporting hunger awareness, culinary education and wounded and disabled veterans, among others.

In September, the dining & dessert rooms reopened to limited capacity. No large groups, and sadly, no tours of the wine cellar or kitchen are permitted yet. They will open at 3pm on Thanksgiving for holiday dining.

And what better way to get to the best dining experience in Florida – and the country – than with Blue Ribbon Transportation.  Get picked up anywhere along the Gulf Coast by one of our limos or other luxury transports. Then feel free to enjoy the best steak and as many alcoholic beverages as you’d like. We’ll make sure you get home safe and sound (and stuffed)!

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