Spago's Skylight Shatters at Lunch: 'I Had a Full Shirt of Glass'

Spago

Wolfgang Puck’s 31-year-old institution closed its doors for three months last year to renovate the always-packed patio, granting it year-round accessibility (thanks to a new retractable roof). Inside, there’s now a casual fireside area designated first-come, first-served. Like the dinner menu, Spago’s lunch offerings are new, with such popular and healthy additions as a falafel sandwich and a watercress and lentil salad topped with tandoori-spiced Scottish salmon. Feeling less chaste? Puck’s Austrian signature, wiener schnitzel, can still be found — with a side of potato and cucumber salads. Loyalists include DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Rob Reiner and Brett Ratner. Read more

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Bernhard Mairinger, chef at the critically acclaimed nearby Austrian restaurant BierBeisl, was sitting underneath the panel as pieces of glass fell from the ceiling Wednesday.

On Wednesday, as diners enjoyed lunch at Wolfgang Puck's Beverly Hills institution Spago, the skylight cracked and glass fell on at least two customers. 

TMZ, which first reported the incident, noted that those who were dining at the time were relocated to the patio. 

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Bernhard Mairinger, chef at the nearby modern Austrian restaurant BierBeisl, who was seated underneath the skylight at lunch and was hit by the glass.

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"I was literally sitting right underneath it," he says. "It’s two glasses on top of each other. The bottom one cracked. I was sitting there with my girlfriend. We were having the sashimi salad and veal tartare and the oysters. It cracked and fell down on us. It was the two of us that got most of the glass."

Despite the inconvenience, Mairinger seemed good-humored and unconcerned about the disruption. 

"Of course, [Wolfgang] came out and said, 'I’m so sorry,'" Mairinger relays. "I joked, 'You really know how to impress me!' I had a full shirt of glass, and my girlfriend got a little cut on the eye and the hand. But we were actually both totally fine."

Mairinger, a 28-year-old rising star chef in town, is on friendly terms with fellow countryman Puck, who he says has made a habit of picking up his Austrian cuisine to-go. (Barbra Streisand, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Bette Midler are also fans.) "He's had the entire menu, from the schnitzels to the strudels," he says. "He told me he finally doesn't have to go back to Austria anymore!"