March 9th, 2012 was a sad day for Alice Waters. Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse, a California restaurant in Berkeley well known for its organic, locally-grown ingredients. Sadly, one of her long time restaurants ‘Cafe Fanny‘ unexpectedly closed its doors after 28 years of business. The restaurant was named after Marcel Pagnol’s 1930s Marseilles movie, as well as Water’s daughter.
Employees were notified the day before and came as a surprise to all. “Basically, it’s just not economically viable anymore. We’ve been struggling for a long time,” says general manager Taylor Gregory. “Finally the owners decided to pull the plug.”
In an official letter from the restauranteurs:
Twenty-eight years ago Cafe Fanny was conceived in the spirit of Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy — a love story involving the whole community, centered around a little standup cafe.So it is with a heavy heart that we are closing Cafe Fanny today after 28 memorable years.
It is the right moment in time to explore new possibilities for this small space that can still house the romance and idealism of the original.
We want to thank our staff, suppliers, friends and most of all you, our wonderfully loyal customers who have been with us in bowls of cafe au lait and beignets for so long.
With gratitude and love,
Alice, Jim, Laura, Steve and Kermit, March 8, 2012
To get more information about the closure, watch ABC’s video Cafe Fanny closes its doors.