After a two-alarm fire devastated Manresa in July, David Kinch has been making the best of a bad situation, helping to rebuild his two-Michelin-starred restaurant while promoting The Farmer and the Chef, a documentary about his longtime collaboration with Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farms. But fans of Manresa should take heart that the restaurant's promised return is underway, and in an interview with Grub Street, Kinch says that "I think if [the reopening] happens by the end of the year, we'll consider ourselves lucky." Manresa's Los Gatos bakery is also moving forward, and Kinch believes that it will "probably be open before the restaurant," meaning there's a possibility both could be in action by the end of 2014.
Interestingly, even three months on, investigators still don't quite know what caused the fire, though Kinch is just happy that Los Gatos didn't consider that mystery an impediment to his rebuilding process. In the meantime, he's dealing with a new kind of job. "I'm heavily involved in a project in which I have absolutely no skill set whatsoever. It's very different. But there's something to do. There's always something to do, whether it's with the contractors, the subcontractors, the insurance company, the architect, the design team, or off-site special events." With that said, diners will find Manresa mostly unchanged, save for a few elements that needed to go anyway. "We're giving the insurance company the original footprint. But, you know, we were 12 years old, so there were a lot of things that were 12 years old and will get replaced by new equipment. But it's a hell of a way to change a carpet."
While Kinch says the aftermath of the fire has been tough ("I miss going to work. I miss it terribly. I just want my restaurant back. That's all I want.") he's also grateful for the support he's received. "It's hard to put into words: the support, the offers of help." In terms of what fans can do to support Manresa, he asks only that they stop by: "Come to the restaurant when we reopen...we look forward to welcoming everybody back."