Slow down, guys — “Hardcore Pawn” is not what it sounds like. It’s actually a hit show for the truTV cable network about third-generation pawnbroker Les Gold and his family, and their 50,000-square-foot business, American Jewelry and Loan.
Located in the tough Eight Mile section of Detroit, the business has customers lining up outside hours before it opens, to hock their valuables. The Forward’s Curt Schleier spoke with Gold, 61, and his son and business partner, Seth Gold, 30.
Curt Schleier: How did you get into this business?
Les Gold: My grandfather opened his pawn shop in the mid-’40s, at Michigan and Fifth…. I was 7 years old when I made my first sale.
Did your grandfather or father push you to get into this line of work?
L.G.: I knew I was going into the same business.… It was my decision to open the first suburban pawn shop in A Detroit area [mall], in Oak Park, a normally Jewish area where I was raised as a child…. It was in transition. The Jews were moving out, and the area was changing.