A fixture in downtown Montgomery has died. Bert Miller or "Big Bert" was known for bringing smiles to the faces of customers at Dreamland Barbecue.
"We are in shock, but we are his dream team. So we've got to go on. It's going to be hard," said Dreamland server, Lasherrie Crittenden.
The looks on their faces say it all.
Dreamland BBQ has lost one of its own, Bert Miller, or better known as "Big Bert".
"We are going to miss him. He was the life of the restaurant. I'd come down here on my day off sometimes just to hear him cut up with the people, put a smile on everybody's face," said Dreamland employee, Dexter Taggart.
Known for his positive spirit and infectious personality, Big Bert's death is not just a loss for Dreamland, but an entire downtown community.
"He was the first thing that you saw when you came into The Alley. He was this big, boisterous guy that everybody saw and everybody loved," said downtown employee, Ryan Doughtery.
He died Wednesday after spending more than a month at a Montgomery hospital, following a stroke. But not before doing exactly what he was known to do, telling jokes that made everyone smile.
"He still had his sense of humor and I went in there to see him and he was medicined up and he woke up for a second, he looked at me and said, 'What's happening man?' and he fell back asleep," said Taggart.
His coworker and friend Lasherrie Crittenden, says even until his last moments, he wouldn't let her forget about the money she still owed him.
"I want my 26 cents Lasherrie. You owe me 26 cents," said Crittenden. It was a joke between the two of them.
So now the seat once occupied by the biggest personality in the room, is empty. It's missing the man who created countless smiles on the faces of all those who walked through this door. They say big shoes that can only be filled by Big Bert.
"Until we meet again Bert," said Crittenden.
Before coming to Montgomery, Bert Miller worked at Dreamland BBQ in Birmingham and served on the Birmingham City Council for five years.
His funeral will be held on Monday in Birmingham.