Alice Waters updated her letter to customers on Chez Panisse's website today with a notice that the restaurant and cafe are looking to return in the early summer: "The big question, of course, is: When will Chez Panisse reopen? Right now we are feeling confident that the first week of June is a realistic opening date for both café and restaurant. We had considered whether it would be possible to open the café earlier with construction still going on, but have decided to complete all construction work before opening. This will allow the builders unfettered access to the building without having to open the café on a daily basis—which would have slowed their work considerably. We are, of course, working as quickly as possible and may be able to open earlier; we will update as the rebuilding progresses."
This news comes after Tuesday's revelation that the damage to the restaurant was much more extensive than previously thought, and would require demolition of both the upper and lower porches, which are connected to the restaurant and the cafe. Luckily, Waters purchased business-interruption insurance, and her staff will be able to continue collecting paychecks as the restaurant goes through the rebuilding process.
· To all the friends of Chez Panisse [Chez Panisse website]
· Chez Panisse Damage Worse Than Expected, Reopening Pushed [~ ESF ~]