Noriega Produce to move, become full-fledged 'Gus's Community Market'

Noriega Produce to move, become full-fledged 'Gus's Community Market'
Photo: David B./Yelp
By Alisa Scerrato - Published on November 14, 2019.

Good news for the Outer Sunset community: Noriega Produce, the Outer Sunset grocer owned by the family behind local chain Gus's Community Market, is set to become a fully fledged Gus's location. 

Dimitri Vardakastanis, who runs the family business with his brother Bobby, will move the store from its 34-year home at 3821 Noriega St. to a larger new location a block away, at 3701 Noriega St. (at 44th Avenue). 

In the larger space, the market will operate as a fully fledged Gus's, offering fresh meat and fish, a deli, sushi, and other conveniences familiar to shoppers at Gus's three other San Francisco stores. 

Dimitri says that if all goes as planned, the new store should open next summer.

Dimitri Vardakastanis in 2016 at Noriega Produce. | Photo: Stephen Jackson/Hoodline

The Vardakastanis family have been grocers in San Francisco since the early 1970s, when Dimitri's grandfather, also named Dimitri, first emigrated to the city from Greece. 

In 1981, the elder Dimitri and his son, Konstantinos (known as "Gus"), founded Haight Street Market at 1530 Haight St. Noriega Produce followed in 1985. 

Over the decades, the Vardakastanises became deeply integrated in both communities, and when they opened their largest store in the Mission District in 2015, they decided to rebrand and name it for Gus.

Tragically, Gus was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2017, leaving his sons to run the store. They opened a fourth Gus's location in Mission Bay last December.

The new Outer Sunset Gus's will occupy a retail space on the ground floor of a mixed-use building, with housing units upstairs. The building will have underground parking, which Dimitri Vardakastanis said he's happy to offer as an added convenience for customers. 

IMAGE: SF Planning

Dimitri said he and his brother Bobby have long been looking for ways to open a full-service grocery store in the neighborhood.

"It's been a long road," he said. "We've been working on it for over five years now, so we're excited."

With construction underway, Vardakastanis said Noriega Produce will continue to operate as usual into next year. He encouraged shoppers to look out for Gus's holiday menu on its website, and to pop by to any of its locations for some of their special offerings.

"There's always something cool going on around the holidays at Gus's," said Vardakastanis. "You don't always know what you are going to see or get."