BERKELEY (KCBS)— After closing because of a destructive fire in early March, Berkeley’s famous gourmet restaurant, Chez Panisse, is ready to open its doors come Monday.
Opening weekend kicks off with a private fundraiser Friday night for owner and renowned chef, Alice Water’s Edible School Yard project.
It was an early morning electrical fire that torched the porch and the exterior of the Shattuck Ave restaurant. The celebration of re-birth coincides with the Summer Solstice.
General Manager Jennifer Sherman said they “literally” emptied the building because the smoke from the fire touched everything.
“Absolutely everything was taken out of the building and the entire place was cleaned from top to bottom,” she said.
All the woodwork was re-oiled and all the floors were redone, which means a lot of work for the close knit staff to prepare for Monday’s re-launch.
“All of the table wares, flat wares, dishes, linens, silverware, glasses, pots and pans everything, coffee cups, coffee machines; everything was taken out and now it’s all being reinstalled,” said Sherman.
Waters created California Cuisine with a wood burning pizza oven and use of sustainable ingredients. While the dining area is all new, all the old menu favorites remain.
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