Owner of iconic San Fran grill says ‘cranky Bernie’ lost his vote after being rude to staff

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Cantankerous Sen. Bernie Sanders turned out at a 111-year-old San Francisco bistro over the weekend while the Democratic National Committee was putting on a three-day event, and the independent senator from Vermont wasn’t wearing his campaign face.

That’s according to Politico, which reported that the crank-pot lost a voter that day.

John Konstin, owner of “John’s Grill,” told the political news outlet that Sanders was “rude and cranky” and did not treat his staff well. Popular with many politicians, the restaurant features pictures of famous faces who’ve visited the establishment.

The restaurant is the legendary home of “The Maltese Falcon,” the 1930 book written by author Dashiell Hammett. The fictional San Francisco-based private detective Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film of the same name, had lunch here at his favorite booth.

Konstin told Politico that he hosted a big party featuring some top Democrats in the state, to include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he said was “pure class.”

“It was all very nice, except for cranky Bernie,” the owner said.

Sanders and around 15 members of his campaign arrived for dinner, but Konstin said the candidate “didn’t want to shake hands, he didn’t want a picture. He wasn’t nice to any of the staff.’’

“He was just rude, not friendly,” Konstin told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think he was just hungry and didn’t want to be a politician.”

And the sour experience left a lasting impression on Konstin: “He lost my vote.”

For what it’s worth, Sanders ordered lobster bisque, an heirloom tomato salad and a Diet Coke.

Oh, and his wife reportedly apologized as the group was leaving the restaurant.

It’s all enough to wonder if President Trump doesn’t forgo “Crazy Bernie” in favor of “Cranky Bernie.”

Lee Housekeeper, spokesman for John’s Grill, told the Chronicle it’s uncharacteristic for Konstin to say anything negative about his patrons.

“Bernie had to be in a terrible mood,” Housekeeper suggested. “Anyone in the public eye needs to understand when it’s time to order room service.”

Of course, “Bernie’s Army” is legendary in the rabid support of the candidate and the reaction online suggests that they didn’t take kindly to the criticism.

Here’s a sampling of some of those reactions, and responses to those responses, from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison


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