Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, the acclaimed Nolita wine bar whose managing partner set fire to a string of Manhattan restaurants in 2021, is expanding. The bar will open a second location at 6 W. 24th Street, near Fifth Avenue, in Flatiron, at the end of 2023, a spokesperson for the bar tells Eater.
It’s the first big move from Compagnie since its sommelier partner, Caleb Ganzer, set flame to the outdoor dining structures at Manhattan restaurants Prince Street Pizza and Forsythia in 2021. Fire officials arrested Ganzer and charged him with two counts of arson, two counts of criminal mischief, and three counts of reckless endangerment. He stepped away from the bar following the incidents.
Ganzer is in recovery and has gone through treatment for addiction, a spokesperson confirmed. He remains a U.S. partner at Compagnie alongside chef Eric Bolyard and is involved with the new venture in Flatiron.
Back in 2022, Ganzer reached an agreement with the Manhattan district attorney’s office to pay for damages — $3,050 to Forsythia and $2,250 to Prince Street Pizza.
Forsythia owner Jacob Siwak says he has not received compensation or an apology from either of Compagnie’s managing partners following the restaurant’s outdoor dining shed being set on fire. “I was pretty surprised,” he says. A spokesperson has confirmed that the charges against Ganzer “have been dismissed” and the partners are waiting for the district attorney to disburse the funds. Eater has also contacted Prince Street Pizza for comment.
Bolyard and Ganzer took over the first Compagnie in Manhattan shortly after it opened in 2014, following the original in Paris in 2012. The cavernous tasting room features gold-flecked walls, exposed brick, along with velvet, marble, and distressed wood. The bar has been regarded as one of the best places to drink wine in the city.
The new location, unlike the original, has a full kitchen and has served as a restaurant since 1909, more recently as Bo’s Kitchen and Bar. Before that, it had been part of a Madison Square theater, and a carriage house. Design is still a work in progress, but it’s on track to be 75 seats with a focus on wines from the U.S. and France.