Klauber was our driving force in so many ways

Guest Columnist

Our industry losing a Giant is in fact a vast understatement.


First, I must express my deepest sympathy to Michael Klauber, Katie Moulton and Tommy Klauber for the loss of their father, patriarch and the creator of the greatest legacy of industry leaders in the history of this town, including his three afore mentioned children whose resume and legacy would cause any father to burst with pride.

The history of Longboat Key and frankly the entire hospitality industry of Sarasota and Longboat Key may not necessarily begin with this man, but he is certainly the driving force in making our town the restaurant and hospitality leader it is. I’ve always said that Dr. Murray Klauber and his early decisions and astute leadership made our area the great restaurant and hospitality destination we know today.

Small town Sarasota, Longboat Key and Bradenton, back in the day were on equal footing or better with much larger St. Petersburg and Tampa for first rate dining establishments for years and still is, primarily because of Dr. Klauber and the great people he hired and who received their training at his world class resort. His ultimate legacy is it is literally countless the number of people living here seasonally or year round, whose exposure to our special side of paradise began with a visit to the number-one tennis resort in the US – The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort — and caused them to fall in love with our Suncoast.

I had the great honor of delivering the eulogy for my mentor Titus Letschert who co-founded Cafe L’Europe in 1973. I had the privilege of working for Titus for over 20 years.

Dr. Klauber had the foresight and vision to bring Titus to Sarasota from New York city via his native Holland to be the General Manager of the Colony. I am quite certain that Michael, Katie and Tommy would agree Sarasota’s culinary story was most impacted by the the creativity, vision, passion and legacy of these two men. Numerous stories have been written over the years of how many restaurants that have been started and are still operated today by former employees of these two industry icons.

I can speak volumes on Dr. Klaubers’ impact on the hospitality industry but I would be remiss not to acknowledge the incredible affect he had on a generation of sensational tennis players and for giving a platform for what would ultimately be the launching of Tennis Hall of Famer Nick Bollettieri and his famous tennis academy. The walls of the Colony were adorned with the brilliant players that cut their teeth on the courts at the resort.

Education can come about in many ways. I never finished High School. A drop out. But I had the great opportunity, honor and privilege to work for both Dr. Klauber and Titus Letschert. At times it wasn’t easy, but the education I received, the standards that were instilled, the example they demonstrated, the greatness I observed, and the hospitality they ingrained,  is something I will never ever forget.

To the entire Klauber family I am deeply saddened for your loss. When history and time looks back at those having the most impact on our community from the seventies to today, I’m certain Dr. Murf Klauber will be at or near the top of most lists. You deserve to be very proud!

Michael Garey is Co-Proprietor of the Lazy Lobster of Longboat &
Tyler’s Gourmet Ice Cream of Longboat Key and Kacey’s Seafood & More in Sarasota

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