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    Jimmy Consos of Grubstake Diner

    As Guy Fieri said, the Grubstake is “one of the most unique diners you’ll come across in Cali.” Located in the historic Polk-Gulch neighborhood, the Grubstake has stood the test of time. Established in 1927, the restaurant was central to a San Francisco gayborhood that existed long before the Castro was synonymous with the LGBTQ community.

    In September 2021, LGBTQ+ community supporters of Grubstake held a rally in support of plans to renovate the historic site.

    What’s more, the Grubstake remains one of the city’s few late-night restaurants. Still served are Portuguese dishes made from original recipes along with diner favorites like burgers, shakes, steaks, breakfast dishes, and more. We recently caught up with owner Jimmy Consos while he was taking a rare break in Greece. (His family is Greek and he is a talented bouzouki player in addition to his culinary skills.)

    Grubstake’s Jimmy Consos (second from left) hosted Bayard
    Rustin Coalition members, including co-chairs Lawrence Shine
    (third from left) and Lisa Williams (right) for a celebration of
    Rustin’s 111th birthday, on March 18, 2023.

    GGBA: How do you describe the Grubstake to those who are not familiar with your iconic San Francisco restaurant?

    Jimmy Consos: We are a longtime American diner that nourishes the community in Lower Polk. We strive to offer great food and a safe space for those who are out late. 

    GGBA: How did you first get involved with the diner?

    Jimmy Consos: Years ago, we were blessed with the opportunity to continue an existing business that was adored by many for decades. 

    GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence your business?

    Jimmy Consos: Fernando and Linda Santos, the previous owners of the Grubstake Diner; Betty Sullivan and Jen Viegas, Co Publishers of the San Francisco Bay Times; Gary Virginia, Donna Sachet, Juanita MORE!, and the Bay Times community. Also, our employees and customers.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA, and how long have you been a member?

    Jimmy Consos: We had been informally involved with the GGBA for years and became more formally involved in 2023. 

    GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped your business so far?

    Jimmy Consos: The GGBA is there to support businesses in our community and my experience has been that, in addition to events and services offered by the organization, members have always been willing to be helpful in any way they can, particularly by sharing information and resources available to them.   

    GGBA: Do you go to the GGBA monthly Make Contact networking events? Have they benefited you and your business, and would you recommend them to others?

    Jimmy Consos: I will be attending the upcoming GGBA Supplier Matchmaker Event hosted by Wells Fargo and NGLCC (National LGBT Chamber of Commerce) on January 24, 2024. It will be located at The Penthouse at Wells Fargo, 420 Montgomery Street, which is a pretty exciting place. 

    GGBA: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

    Jimmy Consos: Join the GGBA and talk with membership coordinator Alesia Massey about connecting you with other members in your industry. You can get the most info and responsible guidance from those who are already doing it.

    GGBA Calendar

    New Member Orientation
    Wednesday, January 17, 2024
    6–7 pm

    GGBA Members Only: Supplier Matchmaker Event
    Wednesday, January 24, 2024
    4–7 pm

    GGBA Member Spotlight
    Published on December 21, 2023; updated on December 29, 2023