Little Italy has seen a lot of history, but as it continues to shrink, so do the Italian shops.
Now Alleva Dairy, on the corner of Mulberry and Grand, the very heart of the iconic neighborhood, is closing down after falling behind on rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shop bills itself as America’s oldest cheese shop, established in 1892 when the neighborhood was vibrant and a bridge to the mother country.
“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,’” owner Karen King told The Post Tuesday.
“I was really hoping that this day would never come and it’s a sad one.” Alleva was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy after accumulating about $628,00 dollars in back rent since the start of the pandemic.
King said she and the landlord ultimately reached an agreement releasing her of the shop’s substantial financial debt as long as she vacates the Little Italy spot next month.
“My store is the oldest cheese shop in America and the heartbeat of Little Italy. We’re a New York institution,” King said.
The longstanding cheese connoisseur has not only drawn generations of families to its long menu of Italian delicacies, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, cured meats and cannoli, but Alleva’s Dairy was also known to attract famous faces from around the world.
Leah Remini, Michael Imperioli, Alice Cooper and Joey Reynolds are just a few of Alleva’s celebrity customers. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco was a huge fan of the shop’s sausage and peppers and negotiation expert Herb Cohen was known to practice his craft in the store.
“It’s a loss. It’s sad that a store like that has to go under. Alleva was a great store. It was all about the food,” Actor Chaz Palminteri, who frequented Alleva Dairy when he was in Little Italy, told The Post Tuesday.
Discussion about this post