Getting kicked out of Zeitgeist is super easy — especially if you do it on purpose. The ever-popular, punk-leaning Mission District bar and beer garden is, after all, well-known for its gruff, no-nonsense service to anyone — regardless of political affiliation. Hell, its motto is "warm beer, cold women," and its curt staff are wont to exercise their right to deny service to anyone with a shitty attitude.
That, it appears, is just what happened with two dudes who were 86d from the bar this summer. While the men say they just wanted a drink, it seems like what they were really thirsty for was a cool confrontation. Zeitgeist tells Hoodline the dudes were escorted out for making sexist remarks, but they say it was simply because they were wearing t-shirts proclaiming their support for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Of course, with Trump's own history of extreme sexism, the difference is debatable.
Got News, a notorious website I won't discuss at any length, doesn't see it that way: It published video and a statement from the men under the headline: "SHOCKING VIDEO: @realDonaldTrump Supporters ATTACKED By Thugs At San Francisco Bar @ZeitgeistSF #TrumpPence16 #tcot"
ABC 7 also ran with the news, interviewing the men who say "they often wear Trump t-shirts in hopes of sparking dialogue." Sure, okay! These guys are Peter Belau and Jascha Sundaresan, by the way, and they lived in the Bay Area during the incident but have since moved to Fresno, which is always an understandable life choice.
According to Zeitgeist's manager, "The incident in question occurred due to the individual interacting inappropriately with one of our bartenders. We consistently ask individuals to leave our establishment based on that policy." By contrast, here's how Belau and Sundaresan put it to Got News:
While in San Francisco, we popped into a bar called Zeitgeist. The blue-haired barmaid at the counter pointed to my friend’s MAGA shirt and asked “are you serious?” He responded “yes”. She replied “we’re not going to serve you. you need to leave”. Another bartender offered to get us a drink but the bluehair come back to chastise him: “don’t serve these bigots”. We engaged the bluehair by asking what about our positions offended her so deeply. Her response was that we’re bigots, need to leave, and that there was nothing to discuss. She left the bar counter to grab some thugs to kick us out and this is when the recording starts. I was walking (and at some point) running backwards while recording so the camera is a bit shaky. If you watch closely you’ll see:
1) The bouncer physically pushing me through and out of the bar
2) The bouncer trying to pry the phone out of my hands
3) The bouncer throwing a punch
4) The bouncer chasing me out into the middle of the street
5) The bouncer chasing me on the sidewalk
6) A post-mortem discussion with another bouncer and a bar patron about how Trump supporters “have to keep quiet” in San Francisco
Dealing with this kind of discrimination must be very difficult even if you're explicitly asking for it! Next time I'm at Zeitgeist, which will be as soon as possible, I'll be sure to raise a glass to Jascha and Peter.
Last, here's a sticker you might see at the bar, helping to spark political discussion: