Jun 12, 2012 6:52 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
It's one of those places locals know and visitors may stumble into looking for a cold soda or beer. But Gus's Grocery in San Luis Obispo offers up so much more than milk and bread. And it's definitely more proof, there's No Place Like Home.
It's a drive-by for most folks. A small grocery store at the corner of Osos and Leff streets in San Luis Obispo. It's not exactly a tourist hot spot. "The only other time people end up here is when they are getting lost or looking for the Madonna Inn." says Ellen Stanton, who owns the place with her husband Mike. "That happens all of the time." But for anyone who ends up here when they're hungry, it becomes a regular SLO-town stop. "We're open seven days a week. We open at seven in the morning, Monday through Friday. We make sandwiches that early in the morning for people on their way to work. We also make breakfast burritos to order that early in the morning, breakfast sandwiches, and Saturdays and Sundays we open at eight." says Stanton.
There's a reason there's almost always a crowd here come noontime. The Stantons have been serving up sandwiches that draw crowds for 23 years, but as long as anyone can remember, this place has been more about the deli than groceries. "Well when we opened it 23 years ago it was called something different. So we changed the name back to Gus's because it had been Gus's since the thirties or forties as far as we can tell." says Stanton.
They use local suppliers as much as possible and serve primarily a local clientele. A very loyal local clientele with a good chunk of them coming by two or three times a week. Some come daily. The other thing you can count on about a Gus's sandwich is you're going to have to use a little creativity to eat it. because they're BIG. "We don't skimp." Stanton laughs as she watches me try to take a bite of the sandwich I ordered. "They can feed more than one person easily."
The sandwiches always seem to taste better if you can take the time to have your lunch on the sunny patio out back. if you're not on a schedule, lunchtime can easily bleed right into happy hour at Gus's. It's where neighbors catch up on news around town over a cold one, and anyone can catch a few breaths among the hustle and bustle of neighborhood activity in the happiest little city in America. And when you make a stop at Gus's you can see why SLO-town earned the title. Because little places like Gus's still exists here...right in our own backyard.