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Chez Panisse Fire

hannah Mar 8, 2013 06:05 AM

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. hhc RE: hannah Mar 8, 2013 06:09 AM

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

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah Mar 8, 2013 08:25 AM

      "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
        bbulkow RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 8, 2013 08:47 AM

        The best thing about downstairs was the room! Wow!

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        Andrew H RE: hannah Mar 8, 2013 11:18 AM

        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. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah Mar 8, 2013 11:55 AM

          Good article in Berkeleyside: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/03/0...

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            bythebay RE: hannah Mar 8, 2013 12:48 PM

            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. drewskiSF RE: hannah Mar 8, 2013 05:03 PM

              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
                Robert Lauriston RE: drewskiSF Mar 9, 2013 11:22 AM

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

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                sundeck sue RE: hannah Mar 13, 2013 11:03 PM

                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
                  Robert Lauriston RE: sundeck sue Mar 14, 2013 01:01 PM

                  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.

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                  sundeck sue RE: hannah Mar 15, 2013 09:50 AM

                  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. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah Mar 15, 2013 10:33 AM

                    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. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah Mar 19, 2013 08:45 AM

                      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. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah Mar 20, 2013 08:59 AM

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


                        1. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah Apr 4, 2013 02:39 PM

                          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
                            sundeck sue RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 4, 2013 08:15 PM

                            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. Robert Lauriston RE: hannah May 22, 2013 02:37 PM

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


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