The ««Stägerstübli» in the early days
The history of the «Stägerstübli» goes back to 1901. Fritz Stäger, his wife Margrith and their daughters Ida, Rosa, Lina and Martha lived in Gidisdorf (Lauterbrunnen) during the winter back then. In the summer, they moved up to Mürren to what is now «Chalet Vreneli» with the «Exile on Mainstreet» shop. In the first year of the twentieth century, Fritz Stäger had a new house built next to his summer residence – the current «Stägerstübli».
Throughout the summer, the Stäger family sold wood carvings and lace products to tourists. On the ground floor of the new house, daughters Martha and Lina opened the «Confiserie» tea room.
After Lina had emigrated to America, Martha continued to run the «Confiserie» alone and, in addition to coffee and cakes, sold a home-made drink which rapidly came to be known as «Stägergift» (Stäger poison). The recipe for this home-made concoction has always remained a well-kept secret.
Around 1950, an extension was added to the rear of the building: the annex (and also «Chalet Flora») was constructed using wood from the old Spa Hotel, which was to be knocked down following a fire. The new room was laid out for playing the card game of jass and was reserved for the locals, who were then no longer allowed in the restaurant.
Ida, the oldest of the Stäger daughters, married Peter von Allmen from Mürren. For many years, they ran a grocery shop in what had previously been the Stäger family's summer residence. This was subsequently converted into a drugstore by Fritz Junger (and later became the current «Exile on Mainstreet»).
No one is quite sure now as of when Martha Stäger let out the «Confiserie». At all events, the Greischberger family ran the restaurant up until 1964. Following this, Emmi Schär and Hermann «Nagoli» Braunbeck took over until 1967.
The restaurant was given its current name of «Stägerstübli» by Margrith von Allmen, the owner of the Blumenthal Hotel, who leased the «Confiserie» and ran it together with the hotel for a short time. In the winter of 1970/71, «Hittis Fritz» (Fritz von Allmen) and Lotti von Allmen took over as tenants of the «Stägerstübli». They ran the restaurant up until the mid-1970s. After Martha Stäger's death in 1973, ownership passed to Peter von Allmen who had purchased the building from the estate.
Hans and Hermine Rubin then ran the restaurant from 1975 to 1986.
From the past into the present
It was at this time that the Gertsch era commenced: after taking over the «Stägerstübli» restaurant (where Lydia Betschart had worked since 1990), Ruedi Gertsch then bought the whole building in 1993. Lydia and Ruedi married in 1996 and, in the autumn of that same year, Ruedi Junior was born. It was during this decade too that a start was made on the step-by-step conversion of the building.
Building work was conducted on the first and second floors from 1998 to 2000. A year later, work commenced on the kitchen, and a kitchen for preparing fruit and vegetables was installed in the cellar.
The «Stägerstübli» was enhanced still further in 2007 when the terrace was redeveloped. The installation of an oil-fired heating system then necessitated major structural alterations once again. Following the redesign of the restaurant (Säli) and lounge in 2010, the building has now arrived in the present, pampering its guests with culinary delights in what is a particularly spacious, light and cosy atmosphere.