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World Famous Chez Panisse Restaurant Damaged In Fire [Updated]

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World Famous Chez Panisse Restaurant Damaged In Fire [Updated]
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Alice Waters' legendary restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley has been damaged in an overnight fire, ABC7 reports.

So far, no injuries have been reported and firefighters say they were able to control the blaze which began in the sub-floor area in the front corner of the restaurant. The fire was contained to a small area of the restaurant and crews claim the rest of the establishment did not suffer damage.  

''I imagine this front portion of the restaurant, where there is a small dining area, may be closed for a 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,'' Berkeley Fire Dept. Dep. Chief Avery Webb told ABC.

Waters rushed to the restaurant at 6 a.m. where she was seen ''obviously shocked'' and hugging a friend, according to reports from NBC news. Additional reports note the fire began around 3 a.m. and didn't spread far thanks to the restaurant's sprinkler system.

Chez Panisse, which serves local organic foods, opened back in 1971. Since then, Waters has been in the national spotlight. She's written cookbooks, helped local children plant school gardens and spent her time educating others about the importance of what she calls 'real' food.

Chez Panisse was named the best restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine in 2001. The restaurant was featured on the World's 50 Best Restaurants sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna  from 2002 to 2008.

UPDATE: ABC7 reports Chez Panisse will cancel all reservations until March 23rd.

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