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Chez Panisse Fire

Didn't see a thread started. There was a fire at Chez Panisse this morning. No word on how long the restaurant will be closed.


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  1. Sad news. I had reservation for the downstairs April 1 too.

    1. "Ms. Waters hopes to open the cafe with the week ... 'the downstairs — I don’t know how we could really make it right for quite some time.'"


      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        The best thing about downstairs was the room! Wow!

      2. When asked about the source of the fire, officials said simply "Local and sustainable".

        Love the place, had my first morels there, hope they get back open soon.

          1. Had reservations for tonight for a special occasion and I was looking forward to it for weeks. Not sure where to go now. Hope they'll be up and running again in not too long.

            1. Creepy. Prior fire was on the same day?!?

              "We would like to thank everyone for their support—particularly the men and women of the Berkeley Fire Department who have now saved the restaurant not once, but twice!

              Exactly 31 years ago today, we had our first fire at the restaurant that destroyed the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen."

              1 Reply
              1. re: drewskiSF

                The 1982 fire was on Sunday, March 7, this one was on Friday, March 8.

              2. Apologies if this has already been reported (just did a search, couldn't find any recent updates).

                CP had hoped to re-open the Cafe (but not the Restaurant) by 3/23. But a friend who had a reservation in a couple weeks just got a call from CP, having to cancel.

                Evidently the damage was more extensive than they had originally understood. They will definitely not be open by the 23rd and at this time do not have a date for re-opening either the upstairs or downstairs.

                My friend said the tone of the conversation was matter-of-fact and even, at moments, upbeat (not, in my friend's words, "lugubrious"). But it is sad.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sundeck sue

                  When I read that the fire had damaged some structural timbers, I figured they were being overly optimistic. Good thing they have business continuation insurance.

                  We went to Cesar last night, it was weird to see it closed.

                2. Just realized the annual Parsi New Year dinner that the wonderful Niloufer Ichaporia King puts on would have been March 21. Wonder if they'll re-schedule, once CP re-opens (even though the 21st is, I believe, the actual date of the holiday).

                  1. The Mercury News reported yesterday that it will be closed at least through the end of the month, and that the porch won't open as soon as the rest of the restaurant.


                    1. Chron reports today they're going to have to demolish both upstairs and downstairs porches, so it's anybody's guess how long it'll be before they reopen.


                      1. Grub Street confirms that thanks to business interruption insurance all staff are still on payroll.


                        1. Latest from the web site: "Right now we are feeling confident that the first week of June is a realistic opening date for both café and restaurant."

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            And they even add: "We...may be able to open earlier."

                            With most construction of this sort, you would expect a business to open later rather than earlier than the projected re-opening date (we continue to wait more or less patiently for China Village and The Great China to open their doors).

                            But CP isn't your ordinary business; and it sounds like everyone's pulling out all the stops.

                          2. The LA Times reports that CP will reopen on June 21 with an Edible Schoolyard Project fundraiser, $1000 upstairs, $2500 downstairs.