Chez Panisse Damaged by Fire

The famed Berkeley, Calif. restaurant was damaged but not destroyed

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ legendary Berkeley, Calif. Restaurant, recently named one of the Daily Meal’s top 101 restaurants in the country, was damaged by a fire early Friday morning.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the fire broke out in a small dining area in the front of the restaurant, and was quickly extinguished by a sprinkler system. Had the system not been in place, the entire restaurant could have gone up in flames.

“The very beautiful facade of the restaurant is gone,” Waters told Diners’ Journal. “The fire started under the front porch, and it just burned the whole front porch off. We were very lucky that it happened in the middle of the night and that no one was there. But it’s gone. The beautiful woodwork is gone.”

Diners’ Journal added that there is no structural damage, and that the main dining room, kitchen, and upstairs café were spared. Thankfully, it appears as if the restaurant will be able to re-open within a week.

“I think we really have to think about what we’re going to do. And maybe there’s a silver lining,” Waters added. 

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