Light smoke coming from the building and roof of the new Somerset restaurant around 5:30 on Monday morning sent fire crews to the first block of East Anapamu Street. Located where once the Arts & Letters Café had been, the restaurant kitchen had left a large cook pot over a pilot light that had caught fire, said City Fire spokesperson Kevin Corbett, setting off the fire suppression system over the cooking area. Firefighters pushed their way into the kitchen, where the fire had been kept in check by automatic fire suppressant and sprinklers. Damage was estimated to be about $10,000 from smoke and about two inches of water on the floor. The Somerset opened in December to great anticipation, with Chef Lauren Herman of A.O.C. and Lucques at the helm.
[UPDATE] The Somerset reopened the Tuesday after the fire, said W. Hayden Felice, the general manager for the restaurant. Only Monday dinner service was missed, and no permanent damage was done to the extensively remodeled restaurant.