Alleva Dairy, established in 1892 and located on Grand Street, in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, was at the time of its closure on March 1, 2023 the oldest cheese shop in the United States.[1][2]

The business was founded by Pino Alleva from Benevento, Italy.[3] In 2014 the business was bought by the actor and onetime boxing manager John Ciarcia (aka Cha Cha and dubbed the unofficial mayor of Little Italy), a cousin of the Alleva family, and his wife Karen King.[4][5] At one point Tony Danza, the actor, entertainer, and former boxer whom Cha Cha had once managed as a pugilist, was a partner in the shop.[6][7][8][9]

In April 2022, it was reported that the store and its owner Karen King was more than $500,000 behind in rent because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to widespread coverage of the financial dilemma of the business and possible forthcoming closure.[10]

On February 8, 2023, it was announced that the business would close the following month because of a disagreement with its landlord regarding unpaid rent. In September 2022, the store had applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and its lease ended in October. The landlord agreed to forego the overdue rent if the store paid a one-time sum of $31,000 and cleared out of the property by March 5, 2023. This brought to an end an occupancy that lasted for more than 130 years.[11]

At the time of the closure of its original Manhattan space, owner Karen King announced that Alleva Dairy will open at a new location on Polito Avenue in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.[12]

References edit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2023-03-02. Retrieved 2023-03-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Yang, Lucy (April 12, 2022). "Historic cheese shop in Little Italy needs 'help' to survive the COVID pandemic". ABC7 New York.
  3. ^ "About | Alleva Dairy in New York, NY". Alleva Dairy. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  4. ^ "After battling to stay open, adored Little Italy cheese shop Alleva Dairy faces a new pandemic-related obstacle". 13 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  5. ^ Sage, Alyssa (2015-12-02). "John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia, 'Sopranos' Actor and Restaurateur, Dies at 75". Variety. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  6. ^ "Tony Danza "Cha Chas" to Little Italy's Past at Alleva Dairy | The Lo-Down : News from the Lower East Side".
  7. ^ "Tony Danza is partners at Alleva Dairy in Little Italy, says election race is 'bizarre' and 'very unsettling'". May 2016.
  8. ^ Dunea, Melanie (February 1, 2017). "At America's Oldest Cheese Shop, Tony Danza Commands Your Attention". Eater.
  9. ^ The Unexpected Connection Between Tony Danza And The Oldest Cheese Store In The US - Mashed
  10. ^ Novini • •, Rana (12 April 2022). "Little Italy Staple Alleva Dairy, Oldest Cheese Shop in U.S., May Soon Have to Close".
  11. ^ Morales, Christina (2023-02-09). "Alleva Dairy, a Little Italy Cheese Shop, Will Close After 130 Years". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-11.
  12. ^ "Alleva Dairy closing in NYC after 130 years, will open new cheese store in NJ". 2 March 2023.