Episode 5: Keep Austin Weird | Steve Bercu

Steve Bercu is the co-owner of BookPeople, and as a resident of Austin for the last 20+ years, he’s seen some fantastic growth and development. People love Austin because it’s unique, different, and filled with community. As big corporations began to move into Austin, he and others rallied behind the ‘Keep Austin Weird’ battle cry, to bring awareness and support to small business owners in the local Austin community. Little did Steve know, this battle cry would be picked up all over the country!


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Key Takeaways:

[1:25] Ever noticed those ‘Keep Austin Weird’ bumper stickers? Stay tuned, as Steve knows its origin story!

[1:55] Steve grew up in Dallas, but there was something about Austin that kept drawing him back.

[2:45] BookPeople recently celebrated its 46th’s anniversary.

[2:55] Why did Steve decide to buy a bookstore?

[7:05] At its core, a bookstore is retail, which means the basic rules of retail apply to a bookstore!

[8:00] Steve shares the ‘Keep Boston Weird’ origin story.

[11:50] Everyone in the Austin community seemed to understand how serious the message was.

[13:30] Visitors will immediately notice that there aren’t many restaurant chains in Austin.

[15:30] People love Austin because it’s different.

[19:55] Physical books vs. ebooks? What are Steve’s thoughts on this?

[26:05] What gets Steve excited when he looks at local Austin businesses?

[30:40] What parts of Austin does Steve like to show out-of-town visitors?

[34:10] What keeps Steve up at night, when he thinks about the future of Austin? Traffic and rent!

[38:00] The city itself has to want, and plan for, culture diversity. It’s not going to happen on its own.

[41:40] What’s Steve’s favorite taco place here in Austin? We must know!

The Taco:

Taco Shack | Original location on Medical Parkway

Mentioned in This Episode:


Austin Independent Business Alliance

Lower Burnet Rd – some great places to try

Download link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | TuneIn | Google Play

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