Little Italy’s Alleva Dairy cheese shop finds new home in New Jersey

March 3, 2023

Image courtesy of Marcela on Flickr

After falling behind on rent and closing its doors due to the pandemic, Little Italy’s historic cheese shop has found a new home in New Jersey. Alleva Dairy, the 130-year-old cheese shop that was forced to close in February, will move to a bigger location in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, as first reported by NBC New York. The new location is currently under construction and is expected to open to customers in August.

After owner Karen King spoke with NBC New York about the shop’s closing in February, real estate developer Jack Morris shared his plans with King to move Alleva to New Jersey. While it may not be housed in the same historic storefront, the new Alleva will use some of the original signage and ceramic work from its former Little Italy store.

“He’s taking me to places that I have wanted to go my whole life and I’m taking my little cheese store with me,” King told NBC New York. “It’s a miracle on Mulberry Street!”

Alleva Dairy, formerly located at 188 Grand Street, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September after amassing more than $628,000 in unpaid rent, as first reported by The New York Post. The store had been struggling to pay its $23,000 monthly rent since the summer of 2020, according to court documents.

“After a remarkable 130 years, my beloved Alleva Dairy will no longer be on the corner of Mulberry and Grand Street in Little Italy, New York,” King told The Post. “I was really hoping that this day would never come and it’s a sad one.”

Alleva Dairy first opened its doors to New Yorkers in 1892, serving a wide variety of Italian cheeses, cured meats, and cannoli. The family-run storefront is known for having some of the highest quality ricotta and mozzarella cheeses that can be found in the five boroughs.

King came to an agreement with the store’s landlord that would erase her debt and other “financial obligations” if she vacates the store on March 5 and pays roughly $31,000, according to court documents.

Since the start of the pandemic, New York City has lost more than 4,000 private establishments, according to a report from the city comptroller’s office. Most of the closures have occurred in Manhattan and are attributed to the decline in tourism and foot traffic when the pandemic reached its peak between 2019 and 2021.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article was published on February 9, 2023, and has since been updated.


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