Everything Vito Wise knows about pawn brokering came from his long time friend Stan Granter, the long time owner of Granter’s Pawn Shop in El Cerrito, CA. Vito said as a youngster he would often peek into Granter’s seeing Stan sitting behind the loan counter with a green sun visor on, looking like Rod Steiger in the classic movie “The Pawnbroker.” Today Vito and “Uncle” Ralph are now the owners of Granter’s Pawn Shop and continue the long-standing motto of “Ca$h in a Flash” for 72 years, lending money with up to four months to repay.
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Granter’s Pawn Shop is not your ordinary pawn shop. Its Old Western styled building contains dozens of vintage swords, firearms, and an American flag given to them by Betty Ross’s great great granddaughter. Granter’s specializes in fine jewelry, watches, certified diamonds, antiques, musical instruments and newer electronics offered to the public at up to 1/2 off retail prices. Their vintage guitar collection have attracted the attention of many prominent guitarist like Joe Grisham, Kirk Hammett, Billie Armstrong, and John Fogerty.
Vito says Granter’s is known as the “Poor Man’s Museum” explaining, “Rich people donate valuable historic items to museums for a tax write off. Average hard working middle class folks sell their items to Granter’s for display and sell; so we have a lot of valuable memorabilia, antiques, and vintage guitars that attract a variety of clientele.”
Granter’s Pawn Shop is opened Monday-Friday from 10am-5pm, except on Wednesdays when they close at 5:30pm. On weekends they are open on Saturday from 10am-4pm and closed on Sunday.