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Bronx, Features, History

Six things you didn’t know about Arthur Avenue and Bronx Little Italy

By Historic Districts Council, Mon, April 9, 2018

Photo by Chris Goldberg/Flickr

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

The Bronx’s Belmont community can date its history all the way back to 1792, when French tobacconist Pierre Abraham Lorillard opened the Lorillard Snuff Mill as the first tobacco firm in the country, and possibly the world. European influences continued to proliferate in the area, and at the turn of the 19th century, flocks of Italian immigrants moved to Belmont to take jobs in the newly opened Botanical Gardens and Bronx Zoo. By 1913, the neighborhood was referred to as the Italian “colonies” in the Bronx.

Today, Belmont’s main artery, Arthur Avenue, still thrives as a bustling Italian center, with countless restaurants, pastry shops, butchers, and more. But there’s a lot more to Belmont than just spaghetti and cannoli. From the origins of a pasta shop’s sign that’s now featured on Broadway to a Neapolitan restaurant that was born in Cairo, Egypt, the Belmont BID shares six secrets of this saucy neighborhood.

Uncover the history ahead

Bronx, From Our Partners

arthur avenue bronx

Mike’s Deli in Arthur Avenue Retail Market. Photo: Bronx Borough President Office

If you’ve slurped oysters outside a seafood market, taken a bite of burrata or savored cannoli on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, this distinction might not be news to you. Arthur Avenue, which some call “the real Little Italy,” will join the American Planning Association’s “Great Streets of America.”

READ MORE AT METRO NEW YORK…

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