The news breaking out of Berkeley today regarding the Chez Panisse fire was a bit of a blur all morning with ever-changing facts — was the restaurant destroyed and was it arson? — but now things have have some time to settle and the facts are becoming clearer. First of all, the local ABC affiliate reports that Chez Panisse will be closed "at least through the weekend," and while the plan is to open the cafe as soon as possible, the restaurant is "cancelling all reservations through March 23." The station also files its report on the restaurant, which explains that one sprinkler is what what stopped the fire from spreading and inflicting further damage.
That report also includes more footage of Alice Waters talking about the loss and her plans to rebuild after the fire that occurred 31 years and one day after the last Chez Panisse fire. Meanwhile, the New York Times has an essay from former Chez Panisse chef David Tanis commemorating the now-destroyed porch that was both a favorite among regulars and a private meeting spot for Waters and her staff. Here's the news reports:
Video: Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse damaged by fire
Video: Fire damages Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley