New York | Famous bartender accused of setting fire to rival balconies

(New York) A famous New York bartender has been accused of setting fire to the terraces of a rival restaurant, authorities said.

New York firefighters said Caleb Ganzer, 35, caught CCTV burning wooden structures erected by two restaurants outside, one in January and the other in July.

Those facilities, the kind that doubled down on the sidewalks of the Big Apple to house diners during the pandemic, were damaged, firefighters said Wednesday, but no one was hit by the disaster.

The bartender was also photographed setting fire to a pile of garbage in June, with the three incidents taking place between midnight and 4:30 am.

Caleb Ganzer, who was named Sommelier of the Year in 2017 by the prestigious “Food and Wine” magazine, has been charged with two counts of arson as well as other charges, including endangering others.

The New York Fire Department has not identified the motive for the fires caused by Mr. Ganzer, associate director of New York’s premium wine bar, Super Natural Wine Company.

The restaurant told the New York Times that the bartender was being put on leave.

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