News and Commentary

Prominent San Fran Restaurant Owner: Bernie Was ‘Rude,’ He ‘Lost My Vote’
Bernie Sanders
Joshua Lott / Stringer / Getty Images

Of all the marks against Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, the one thing the Vermont senator always seemed to have going for him was his alleged “authenticity.” One prominent restauranteur in San Francisco, however, says the noted socialist lost his vote due to his downright rude crankiness when visiting his establishment.

According to Politico, John Konstin, owner of the famed 111-year-old bistro John’s Grill in San Francisco, hosted several top Democrats at his establishment recently; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) being the least polite among them.

“Dems in town for DNC packed in John’s Grill, the 111-year old bistro that’s become a go-to for pols in San Francisco,” reported the outlet. “Owner John Konstin tells POLITICO he hosted a full house, including a big party with Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, all led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was ‘pure class.'”

While the others were indeed “pure class,” Sanders, as it seems, was pure crank by refusing to shake hands while being fairly rude to the staff.

“It was all very nice, except for cranky Bernie,” Konstin told Politico.

Sanders apparently ordered lobster bisque, an heirloom tomato salad, and a Diet Coke when he ate dinner with 15 others from his campaign staff.

“He didn’t want to shake hands, he didn’t want a picture,” Konstin alleged. “He wasn’t nice to any of the staff.”

The whole experience with the “rude and cranky” Sanders left a bad taste in Konstin’s mouth. “He lost my vote,” he concluded.

Should the allegation be believed or dismissed as a political attack? According to Lee Housekeeper, the media contact for the restauranteur, the story must be true because Konstin rarely speaks ill of his patrons.

“Bernie had to be in a terrible mood,” Houskeeper told SF Gate in an interview. “Anyone in the public eye needs to understand when it’s time to order room service.”

The Sanders campaign has not responded to Konstin’s allegations of impoliteness while at his establishment. The 2020 candidate’s alleged classless snobbery comes several days after the senator actually showed some real class when he publicly chastised a crowd of his supporters for applauding the death of billionaire David Koch. The rare moment of civility came when he was taking questions from audience members at the Minnesota state fair.

“Yesterday, oligarch David Koch passed away,” an audience member said to Bernie as the crowd erupted into cheers.

At first, Sanders only lightly chastised the crowd by signaling them to quiet down. Later, when he took the microphone, he told them the cheers were not appropriate before segueing into political talking points.

“I don’t applaud the death of somebody. We needn’t do that,” Bernie began. “I think what we can say is that the Koch brothers and other billionaires, because of this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, have been able to spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who represent the wealthy and the powerful and the fossil fuel industry, which is where the Koch brothers made a lot of their money.”