A 20-year-old woman has been arrested in connection to the hit-and-run death of Konstantinos “Gus” Vardakastanis, the founder of the local grocery chain Gus’s. 

Last Tuesday evening, the United States Marshals Service arrested San Francisco resident Eleasia Fraise in Stockton on a warrant issued for the hit-and-run, suspected manslaughter, arson, conspiracy and driving without a license, according to the San Francisco Police Department. Fraise was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail and will soon be transferred to San Francisco.

It’s unclear what evidence law enforcement agencies are using to link Fraise to the incident. SFPD spokesman Officer Adam Lobsinger said the department does not “give details into the investigative methods.” 

“SFPD investigators did develop probable cause to identify 20-year-old Eleasia Fraise as the suspect in the September 22, 2018 fatal hit-and-run collision,” he said.   

Vardakastanis was reportedly struck by a silver sedan at 2:17 a.m. on Sep. 22, 2017, as he was walking near Jerrold and Toland streets. The driver reportedly fled and Vardakastanis died at the scene. Vardakastanis was 57. 

Vardakastanis, a Greek immigrant entrepreneur, was remembered as “a pillar of the community.” 

Gus’s has four locations in San Francisco, including one at 17th and Harrison streets. 

Photo by Angela DeCenzo for Edible SF via Gus’s Market Cafe on Instagram.

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. I was worried to see my friend almost hit by driver going over the speed limit around a curve into the crosswalk she was in as we started out of Lake Merced. The driver gave her a mean, uncaring look as if it was her culpability. He was going over the speed limit in quiet electric car, and I saw him just before he would have struck her, and called out. He wasn’t looking at the road in font of him – I saw he was looking approx. 100 yards ahead going over the speed limit around a curve through a cross walk coming off of an urban walking/hiking trail. He drove a very nice black sedan. That worried me…

    I worked for Gus for about 5 days 16 years ago. He was genuinely kind, hard working, foresighted person. I mourn for him and loved ones.

  2. Is it really so difficult to spend three seconds looking up how to spell Harrison St.? Or, God forbid, learning how to spell it? Laziness is a very poor quality for a wannabe journalist.

    1. Hi there — 

      This is actually breaking news and was posted, hurriedly, before it could be edited by me. For what it’s worth, I think everyone knows how to spell “Harrison.” Rather, this was a typo of the sort that occasionally occurs during the aforementioned breaking news.

      While it’s unfortunate that a typo was included on a street name, it’s odd that’s the takeaway for you in a story about a man being killed. There are also ways to inform journalists, hurrying to do their jobs and spelling something wrong, of an error in their work without being condescending.

      We’ll try to do better. Maybe you can too.



      1. No worries Joe – I appreciate this resource very much, especially the profiles of locals!