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Small Fire Breaks Out at EJ’s Place; Catering Company Lays Off 628

• EJ’s Place in Skokie suffered a small fire last night on a portion of its exterior siding. No one was harmed, and the fire was quickly put out. [Trib]

• Chicago Restaurant Partners is going to layoff 628 people after it lost a food contract to cater events at McCormick Place. [Crain’s]

• Yesterday we told you about hybrid fruits, and now it seems that rare breeds of apples are also quite fashionable. That’s it, we’re quitting this gig to go grow fruit. [AP via HuffPo]

• Speaking of the fruit, Apple Computer’s lawyers are pissed that a Chinese tech company has a logo they claim is too similar to their own. Wait, they’re cracking down on this over those fake Apple stores? [GMA News]

• Burgers over Baghdad? Smashburger has announced it will be the latest burger chain to hit the Middle East. [NRN]

• Spud crusader: One Maine Republican senator is claiming the potato has been “unfairly singled out” in the government’s quest to improve school nutrition. [NPR]

• That rumored “Schweddy Balls” Ben & Jerry’s flavor is now confirmed, so go watch some vintage SNL to celebrate. [NYDN]

• More food-safety drama for China: This time 300 schoolchildren have been sickened by unsafe food. [AP]

Small Fire Breaks Out at EJ’s Place; Catering Company Lays Off 628