FAIRFAX (CBSLA) — A beloved member of the family that owns the famous Canter’s Deli in Fairfax has died.

Gary Canter, grandson of Canter’s Deli founder Ben Canter, passed away from a heart attack Tuesday night at his Los Angeles home at the age of 58, according to statements on the restaurant’s Twitter page and his personal Facebook page.

“It is with the greatest sadness I have ever felt to inform those of you who loved Gary over the years – that he passed away from an apparent massive heart attack this evening around 7:00 PM,” his Facebook page read. The death was first reported by The Blast.

Canter was found unresponsive at 7:29 p.m. at a residence in the 400 block of South Highland Avenue, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.

Winter said Canter’s medical history was being verified for the death certificate, but it is believed he died of natural causes.

Canter’s Deli opened in 1931 in Boyle Heights. It moved to its current location in 1953.

The 24-hour eatery – which has a restaurant and bakery – has been a celebrity staple for decades. It has been visited by three presidents: Barack Obama, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

However, Canter’s has had some struggles of late. In August, the restaurant was forced to close for three days due to a vermin infestation.

Co-owner Terri Bloomgarden, Gary Canter’s cousin, said that Canter’s will remain open as usual, but she wasn’t sure whether the restaurant would be hosting any memorials.

“It’s all too new,” Bloomgarden said. “He was a brother, a son, a cousin … Gary was a person with a big heart and a big personality, and he’ll be missed.”

 

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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