A fire broke out at the Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse shortly after 3 a.m. this morning, according to various San Francisco news outlets, damaging the front of the restaurant. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control before it spread to neighboring buildings, and reportedly prevented much damage to the beloved restaurant. There were no injuries; a sprinkler system apparently aided firefighters in putting out the blaze.
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"I imagine this front portion of the restaurant, where there is small dining area, may be closed for a little bit of time, but the majority of the restaurant is still intact. They just need to have the health department go through to make sure that they are ready to serve food there," said Berkeley Fire Dept. Dep. Chief Avery Webb.
Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971. For more than forty years, both the restaurant and Waters herself have championed locally grown food and sustainable cuisine. The restaurant, which has launched the careers of many prominent American chefs, has served as a mecca for food lovers across the country.