Interiors of the Annie Café & Bar were unharmed by the kitchen fire but duct damage will require several weeks of work forcing closure of the popular restaurant. (Photo by Jenn Duncan)
Turner's, located on street level beneath The Annie Cafe, was unharmed in the fire but the shared kitchen is forcing its closure for several weeks.
Ben Berg, founder and CEO of Berg Hospitality, has fingers crossed that repairs from the kitchen fire at The Annie Café & Bar will not take long. (Photo by Leah Wilson)
“The punches just keep coming,” a bummed Ben Berg tells PaperCity, the day after a fire in the ducts of his Annie Café & Bar kitchen has closed both the Galleria area hotspot as well as Turner’s, the chic ground floor supper club that shares the Annie Café kitchen.
It was 11:45 Wednesday morning when the kitchen sprinklers began spewing and shortly thereafter that seven firetrucks arrived. Birthday lunches and the two-martini confabs were called to a halt. The entire building at 1800 Post Oak Boulevard had to be temporarily closed.
Sad news. No Annie Tortilla Soup or Chicken Fried Texas Waygu. No schmoozing in the bar or on the popular patio.Who knows for how many weeks.
“I hope it’s only three for four weeks,” Berg says. “We have to redo a lot of duct work and the problem with that is the inspections.”
Luckily, the fire was limited to the kitchen and the only water damage suffered in the Annie Café was overflow from the kitchen sprinklers. Turner’s was not affected by the fire, but Berg explains, the restaurants share the kitchen. No kitchen, no romantic dinners in the cozy Turner’s.
The founder and CEO of Berg Hospitality is concerned for those who have upcoming reservations for special events in the two properties. Those include at least one wedding rehearsal and one charity dinner.
“The problem is, people want Del Grande’s (executive chef Robert Del Grande) food,” Berg says.
In a statement released Thursday morning, the restaurant tycoon notes: “It pains us to have to cancel all of the reservations and private events, and we are currently contacting all guests and trying to relocate the private parties as we speak. I would like to personally thank the Four Seasons Hotel and Brennan’s for already stepping up and helping us accommodate some of these private parties.”
“I’ve had some great people help us,” Berg tells PaperCity.