Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
The story of Gus' Discount Tackle begins with skiing in the Alps.
In this podcast, Stephanie Scott, the current owner, shares with us the story of her life. Her dad, Gus, escaped his home in Austria when the Nazis began persecuting Jews. He arrived in New York but went west for a restaurant bussing job in San Francisco.
Gus met his wife (Stephanie's mom) in The City. She was a Sorbonne-educated lab doctor who immigrated here from Russia.
Gus opened a general merchandise shop on Clement Street, but the predatory landlord there kept raising Gus' rent. Through a handshake-type agreement, he got the funding to buy his own place—the spot on Balboa where the shop still exists today, around 60 years later.
Stephanie grew up on 17th Avenue on the northern side of the Richmond in the 1950s and '60s. She shares impressions of what San Francisco was like back then—a busy time with Beats, hippies, free-love advocates, and LSD, none of which the more square Stephanie took part in.
She met her husband when they were both at SF State. After post-graduate opportunities fizzled out, Stephanie started working in her dad's store. The rest, as she says, is history. She's been there 45 years.
Stephanie ends the podcast reflecting on the people she's watched grow up around Gus's, the changes that the store has seen, including transitioning from general merchandise to fishing supplies, and her hopes for the next phase of the only place she's ever lived—San Francisco.
We recorded this podcast at Gus' Discount Tackle in the Outer Richmond in June 2021.