As if Stormpocalypse wasn't enough frustration for one evening, the poor souls at TBD had to suffer through both fire and water at the same time—and will be closed for a week as a result. Owner Matt Semmelhack says the restaurant was in the midst of hosting a corporate holiday party around 7 pm last night when the restaurant's fire system was mysteriously activated, setting off alarms and spraying the entire kitchen with fire-suppressant foam. Unable to find the source of the fire, the restaurant was forced to send its guests and staff packing while the SFFD came to take a look at the building. They found no evidence of a fire, and gave TBD the all-clear.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of TBD's woes, as employees of its sister restaurant AQ noticed smoke coming out of the building around 1 am. Three fire trucks raced to the scene and found smoke trapped in the wall between TBD and neighboring coffee roaster De La Paz, requiring them to punch holes in the wall and ceiling to quell whatever was smoldering inside. "Needless to say, last night was not a great one to be cutting holes in your ceiling," said Semmelhack, and the restaurant suffered rain damage from yesterday's storm, in addition to that caused by the fire.
Semmelhack estimates that the damage to TBD will take about a week to repair, and has cancelled all the restaurant's reservations in the meantime, a major loss given that this week will be the height of pre-holiday dining. He says De La Paz actually got the worst of the damage, which co-owner Jodi Geren confirms. "There is a great deal of damage, but we are lucky that we can have Shark do our roasting over at [sister roastery] Four Barrel, so we hopefully won't miss a beat as far as our production schedule goes."
Though TBD's open-fire cooking style has led to a few minor conflagrations (including one in its very first week), the origin of this particular blaze is unclear, and didn't originate in the kitchen. Semmelhack says it could be electrical, but he won't know for sure until the insurance company investigates. We'll let you know when TBD is back in action.