Fire prompts Chez Panisse to cancel reservations

AP News

3/9/2013 7:16:23 PM - AP News

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California's renowned Chez Panisse restaurant is canceling all reservations for the next two weeks after a pre-dawn fire damaged the building's exterior and dining room.

The Berkeley restaurant said on its website Saturday that it was cancelling reservations through March 23 and apologized to customers. It said it will start taking new reservations on Monday.

Officials say the fire broke out around 3 a.m. Friday and damaged the restaurant's front porch, entryway and downstairs dining room before firefighters extinguished it. The bulk of the building was not damaged, and no one was injured.

Founded by chef and food activist Alice Waters in 1971, Chez Panisse has gained global renown in culinary circles for pioneering the creative use of fresh, local food in season.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.