Historic San Francisco Restaurant Reopens For Outdoor Dining

A well-known San Francisco restaurant is welcoming back diners for the first time since March.

About 10 tables and chairs line part of a 700-square-foot space along Ellis St. outside John’s Grill, part of a trend seen in neighborhoods around San FranciscoThat’s where owner John Konstin, Jr. said they're thrilled to be serving their famous seafood and steak dishes once again.

"It’s a little bit different," he told KCBS Radio. "You don’t get the old, dark wood panels (and) the pictures on the wall. You don’t get that whole experience inside. I think that we’ve created a whole new experience."

John's Grill has been around for 112 years. The restaurant is famous for providing the setting for the classic novel "The Maltese Falcon" novel by Dashiell Hammett.

It’s also a place for politicians to get together.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and friends on the first day of reopening at John's Grill on Ellis St.
Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio

The reopening was a welcome sight for former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, here to enjoy brunch outside with friends.

"It means we’re working on trying to figure out what we can do on Election Day now," Brown said. "Ordinarily, this space would be for electioneering. This space would be for people exchanging views."

Right now, they're just happy to have customers back.

John’s Grill closed back in March when San Francisco's shelter-in-place orders went into effect. The owner said thousands of dollars in donations from a GoFundMe page helped them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.