Chefs at work in the re-opened Chez Panisse kitchen. Photo: Amanda Marsalis

Berkeley’s Chez Panisse reopened to the public on Monday, after the early-morning fire in March which shut Alice Waters’ landmark restaurant for nearly four months. Berkeleyside marked the reopening with an exclusive Waters interview and a photo gallery showing the slightly revamped interior. The Berkeley restaurant scene is of course far more than Chez Panisse and the Gourmet Ghetto. Berkeleyside this week broke the story that John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman, owners of downtown hotspot Comal, are hoping to open a new restaurant in the Wright’s Garage space on Ashby Avenue in the Elmwood. 

This week’s momentous advances for marriage equality centered in Washington, but there was plenty of Berkeley involvement. Berkeleyans Kris Perry and Sandy Stier appropriately received President Obama’s congratulations on Wednesday morning after the Supreme Court decision on Prop. 8. Then, on Friday they were the first same-sex couple to be married in California after the ban was lifted, in a ceremony presided over by Attorney General Kamala Harris. In between, Berkeley held its own celebration on the steps of Old City Hall.

When Berkeleyside broke the news about the the first new high-rise downtown in decades, many commenters focused on what the loss of the Shattuck Cinemas would mean for the city’s entertainment options. On Wednesday, we were able to report that revised plans by the developers include six new movie theaters, replacing a public plaza in the original design.

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Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions? Email