The building boom has endangered some of San Francisco’s great cultural landmarks and some of its great dining establishments.
The McDonald’s at 701 Third Street is neither of those things. But its closure last week (even the Yelp page has packed up and gone) and forthcoming demolition are still notable, because it’s the same building where Clint Eastwood, as loose cannon San Francisco cop Harry Callahan, uttered the immortal line "Go ahead, make my day."
Only Eastwood’s own previous "Do I feel lucky?" monologue more dramatically defined the film franchise. Although, the McDonald’s "make my day" scene happened not in the acclaimed 1971 Dirty Harry but in its mediocre third sequel, 1983’s Sudden Impact. And back then it wasn’t yet a McDonald’s but an anomalous local joint called Tiger’s.
Nevertheless, it’s been the same building and usually a burger place throughout its many iterations, and its forthcoming removal in favor of a Hyatt hotel will incrementally dilute city’s movie legacy. Still, it’s hardly a surprise: Developers bought the site in 2014, and the Planning Department gave the new 11-story building favorable marks back in May.
Note that Eastwood (who also directed Sudden Impact, although it’s possible he leaves that off of his CV these days) picked 701 Third for that famous scene because the site was so dreary and stilted looking at the time. Now AT&T Park sits right around the corner and the neighborhood is one of the most expensive in the city. The desolate lot outside of the windows in that scene is now pricey retail.
And if Harry Callahan were still around, he’d have to get his large black coffee at the Starbucks across the street instead. Talk about knowing your limitations.
- SoMa McDonald’s Shuttered [SocketSite]
- Third Street McDonald’s [Yelp]
- Go Ahead, Make My Latte [Laughing Squid]
- 701 Third Street CUA [Planning Department]