Update, 8:45 a.m.: The fire has been extinguished, but firefighters remain on scene to douse "hot spots." And to help ease the traffic nightmare, one eastbound and one westbound lane have been opened along the shut-down portion of PCH.
A fire reported at the two-story BeauRivage Restaurant along Pacific Coast Highway this morning has likely gutted the iconic beachside eatery.
Inspector Brian Riley with the L.A. County Fire Department says fire trucks arrived on scene at 6:18 a.m. And by 7:30 a.m., when we spoke with him, Riley said crews were...
... "still working to put out the fire. We don't have a knockdown yet."
Meanwhile, PCH is at a standstill. Officials are warning morning commuters to avoid the skinny coastal route for the next four hours, reports KNX news radio.
The road is currently shut down north of Pepperdine University and south of Latigo Canyon Road.
BeauRivage, an expensive and gorgeous spot with full ocean views, has been in operation for just over three decades. It's glamorous in that quaint, small-town Malibu way -- covered in ivy and flowers and made cozy by low wooden beams on the ceiling. The restaurant describes itself as the "premier Mediterranean on the West Coast." It gets a $$$ for "price range" on Yelp.
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Huge fire apparently at beaurivage on #pch has coast shut down. Sitting with endless line of cars as more fire trucks scream in around us.
— Merrill Whatley (@merrillwhatley) June 11, 2012
Inspector Riley says the department "won't know the extent of the damage until the fire has been knocked down." But seeing as it's been raging for over an hour now, outlook's not so good.
No injuries have been reported. Check back for updates.