Nolita Sommelier Charged with Setting Fire to Downtown Dining Structures
Fire Department brass last week announced charges against a celebrated sommelier for setting fire to downtown dining structures.
Caleb Ganzer, sommelier and partner at wine bar La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels on Centre Street, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony for three instances of arson, including two at outdoor dining structures in Manhattan. The New York Times, which first reported the arrest, detailed that the incidents transpired over the course of about seven months.
Ganzer set flame to the outdoor dining structures at Stanton Street restaurant Forsythia in January, and the popular Prince Street Pizza on July 13, fire officials said. In both instances, wooden setups at the establishments sustained damage – it cost Forsythia $3,500 – but the storefront eateries were not affected.
Following the fire at Prince Street Pizza, officials say they established a connection between the two incidents, along with a third occurrence in June in which Ganzer reportedly started a trash fire on the corner of Broome and Center streets, just steps from his employer.
Fire officials arrested Ganzer, and charged him with two felony counts of arson, two felony counts of criminal mischief, and three counts of reckless endangerment.