Frisco Beat: “Cairo’s Hotel” Grabs a New Alias

In the latest and greatest edition of The Dashiell Hammett Tour book, I advance a new theory about why the various fictitious hotels in The Maltese Falcon picked up their names — one of several fresh litcrit wrinkles I toss in, pulled from long years hoofing the mean streets with time to think deep thoughts.

But many people prefer to believe that a hotel with a similar name must be the basis for this hotel or that hotel.

From the earliest days of people trying to dope out which fictitious lodging from the novel was based on which actual hotel, the hotel Joel Cairo stops in — the Belvedere — has been assumed to be based on the Hotel Bellevue at approximately 501 Geary Street, southwest corner of Taylor. Check the book for more of my ideas about that, if interested.

The Bellevue hasn’t been the Bellevue for several years, however. It got a renovation and reopened as the Monaco, and the Monaco it was for quite awhile — so long that I got used to calling it the Monaco.

For your information, the name just got changed again recently. I first noticed the new signage on August 11.

What was the Monaco is now the Marker.

Bellevue. Monaco. Marker.

Make a note in your Hammett’s Frisco logbook.

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