The Laughing Policeman - Snitch
Police informants are part of the fabric of crime investigation especially when leads are scarce. In their search for the source of the automatic weapon used in the bus massacre Jake and Larsen meet one such snitch at Enrico's in North Beach.
Then ... For this scene the director populated the curbside dining area with an odd array of characters ranging from hippie to dippy. The restaurant diagonally across the street is Swiss Louis, at that spot since 1936, and the Transamerica pyramid looms in the background.
... and Now, Enrico's started serving italian cuisine to customers at 504 Broadway near Kearny Street in 1959 (map) eventually closing in 2006. Today the site houses a lunch spot, Naked Lunch, and sensibly the cosy outside dining space was retained.
... a few years earlier ... Below, the same location appeared in this scene in the 1968 movie 'Bullitt'. The striped awning kitty-corner across Broadway is at the long-lived Swiss Louis restaurant - it subsequently moved in 1978 to its current location at Pier 39.
Then ... Information from a snitch is usually unreliable at best and all they gleaned from the meeting was a name, Rodney, that may or may not turn out to be useful. As they leave Enrico's you can just see the awning sign of the adjacent drag venue Finocchio's at 506 Broadway. They then turn at the fish and chip shop on the corner and head up Kearny Street.
... and Now, the metal framework of the former Enrico's awning is still in place, a skeletal reminder of what used to be, as too is the stunted remnant of the corner power pole. The Kearny steps have since been renamed for Peter Macchiarini, a local jewelry designer and founder of a number of San Francisco street fairs. Finocchio's has become home to the Pier 5 law firm.
Viewed from across Broadway Finocchio's is pictured here alongside Enrico's in an early 1960s image. It featured cross-dressing entertainment from 1936 until it closed in 1999. A must-see for visitors of the day, it remained a city favorite over the decades. Check out this TV feature on the club from 1980.
Then ... Their car is parked a short way up Kearny on a block so steep that steps replace sidewalks the whole way up on both sides. Fortunately Jake knew how to curb his wheels, second nature with San Franciscans, but that looks like a No Parking sign up the way; certainly parking is prohibited here today.
... and Now, some updated ductwork on the left, repainted exteriors, otherwise there are no significant changes.