Mid-Week Menu: Chez Panisse Rebuilds, a New Owner for Ann’s Kitchen, and the Best Food Neighborhood in Oakland

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) As reported earlier, a fire broke out at Chez Panisse (1517 Shattuck Ave.) early Friday morning, causing significant damage to the restaurant’s front porch, which is part of the downstairs dining room. According to Berkeleyside, Berkeley firefighters believe the fire started in the eight-by-twelve-foot area underneath the porch — although it appears likely that the cause of the fire was electrical in nature, as of this posting the case is still under investigation. Owner Alice Waters had originally estimated that the upstairs cafe section of the restaurant would be able to open in a little over a week — by March 23 — but that appears to have been pushed back until at least March 30, the Contra Costa Times reports. No timetable has been set for reopening the more formal downstairs dining room, which took the brunt of the damage.

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