ABC 7 ran over to Berkeley Friday to cover the final day of service at 28-year-old Café Fanny, which suddenly announced Thursday that it would be closing. They got Alice Waters on camera seeming pretty blue about the whole thing, and a little flustered herself by the suddenness, but she explained, “My brother-in-law and my sister are in a different place in their lives and they can’t take care of it the way that they have.” The closure was as much of a surprise to the staff as it was to the rest of us, and they all only got two weeks severance. But why, we wonder, did it all happen have to happen so abruptly and without fanfare, when the Chez Panisse family usually isn’t stingy with the nostalgia, or fanfare?
Did a deal just go through in which new operators are in a hurry to get started? Waters only said that she “hopes” something will come along to replace it, but said nothing more. It’s unclear if the property is being sold, or if Waters would remain at all involved in a new concept.
According to a manager quoted on Thursday, as the news broke, the restaurant had been “struggling for a long time.”
Below, Waters gets choked up.