ORLANDO, Fla. – A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of setting fire to Beefy King, an iconic Orlando restaurant that’s been open 51 years.
John Huff was arrested late Tuesday on charges of arson and criminal mischief.
Orlando police said the fire was started around 1 a.m. Tuesday in the back of the Bumby Avenue restaurant and surveillance video helped them determine the fire was intentionally set.
Investigators said they found Huff at the Drunken Monkey, this is next to the Beefy King.
Officers said photos from surveillance footage showed Huff at the incident.
ARSON ARREST: Orlando fire investigators say 36 y/o John Huff was arrested last night in connection to a fire at the iconic restaurant @beefy_king.— Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) November 13, 2019
We are live from the Orange Co Jail starting at 5 a.m. with details on his arrest @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/ISqvdHMR8u
Although the fire did not cause extensive damage to Beefy King, the restaurant has been forced to close.
Co-owner Shannon Woodrow said the focus is getting the business back open within 48 hours.
“It was terrifying. I just couldn’t believe I was walking up and seeing police tape and the fire vehicles and everything,” Woodrow said.
Mandy Roux works at Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, next to Beefy King.
“It really breaks my heart that happened to another small business owner because it really affects the family when that kind of stuff happens,” Roux said.
Huff was booked into the Orange County Jail early Wednesday and was being held on a $3,500 bond.
Huff is expected to make a court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Leaving Beefy last night was tough This moonrise brought us peace. We love our neighborhood, love this Orlando community and we can’t wait to open as soon as possible. Thank you for the outpouring of love & support. eternally grateful to @OrlandoFireDept & @OrlandoPolice pic.twitter.com/lZABt47xzo— Beefy king (@beefy_king) November 13, 2019
“Leaving Beefy last night was tough. This moonrise brought us peace. We love our neighborhood, love this Orlando community and we can’t wait to open as soon as possible. Thank you for the outpouring of love & support. Eternally grateful to the Orlando Fire Department and Orlando Police Department,” Beef King posted in a statement on Twitter.