Well known San Francisco businessman Constantin 'Gus' Vardakastanis killed in hit-and-run accident

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Many in San Francisco are mourning the loss of a well-known and well-loved local businessman, Constantin Vardakastanis. SFPD is searching for the driver who ran him over and sped away.

Vardakastanis, or Gus, as he was known by friends, life was taken by a hit and run driver just after 2:00 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Jerrold and Toland.

Those close to him say he was on his daily walk to the San Francisco Produce Market to check out the day's fruits and vegetables.

"This appears to be a hit and run. What we do know at this time is the vehicle was a silver sedan that has front end and windshield damage," said Officer Giselle Linnane, with SFPD.

Earl Herrick, the owner of Earl's Organic Produce knew Gus as a great friend, and a worthy competitor.

"It was about being down here at midnight every night and beating the other guy out for that peach or that artichoke you wanted to get," said Herrick.

Gus owned three neighborhood markets in San Francisco, one on Harrison, another on Noriega, and his flagship store in The Haight.

Supervisor London Breed says he made a point of hiring people from the community. She says he wasn't subtle when he thought something was important.

"He was relentless in his outreach to my office for sure, but it was always about the community and how you would work to resolve an issue," said Breed.

Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement Friday:
"Gus will be missed, but his memory will live on through his lasting contributions to the city he loved."

Gus Vardakastanis was 57 years old.
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