Remember old Bruno at Persian Aub Zam Zam? People reveled in his crankiness (until they fell victim to it themselves, in some cases), though you've got to admit it's not bad being able to actually sit at one of the tables if the bar is full. I used to visit a bookstore down in Pasadena called something like The Oriental Book Company. The guy kept most of his lights turned off, and if you wanted to see a particular section, he would huff in frustration that he had to go through the trouble of turning the lights on. That guy was a crank. You might not like shopping at his store, but there was no doubt that it was his store. In this world of Bed Bath & Beyond blandness, a retail approach like that can be....refreshing.
A note of caution: this is a defense of cranky owners, not staffers. I find cranky staffers a lot less romanticizable. In fact, I almost couldn't watch the movie High Fidelity after Jack Black abused that customer for wanting, what was it, Paul Simon? My retail owner's hackles were raised.