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Small fire damages Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley

March 8, 2013 |  8:50 am

A fire broke out early Friday morning at the famed Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, but a sprinkler system may have saved the entire building from going up in flames, Bay Area TV stations reported.

Only a small dining area in the front of the restaurant was damaged, according to KGO-TV in San Francisco.

A Berkeley Fire Department official told a TV station that most of the restaurant could reopen as soon as the health department gives clearance.

Founded in 1971 by a group that included chef Alice Waters, Chez Panisse was a pioneer in the organic, locally grown food movement.

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-- Cindy Chang

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