Alleva Dairy in NYC Will Close In March
Alleva Dairy, a 130-year-old Little Italy cheese store known for its fresh ricotta and mozzarella, will close in March after a long battle with its landlord over back rent. It’s just the latest passing of a historic business in the Manhattan neighborhood, whose demographics have changed significantly in the past few decades.
“We don’t know where we’re going,” said Karen King, who bought the shop with her husband in 2014 from the family who founded Alleva. “But I do know that if we go somewhere, it’ll be bigger, it’ll be better. We’re taking with us the quality that we have had on Mulberry and Grand for this long.”
The closing would end a long saga of financial woes for the cheese shop. Last September, Alleva Dairy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its lease expired on Oct. 31, but the company agreed to continue paying $23,756 a month in rent while it remained in the space, according to court papers. The owner of the property, Jerome G. Stabile III Realty, agreed to drop its attempts to collect more than $628,000 in back rent if the shop paid a lump sum of about $31,000 (which Ms. King says has already been paid) and moved out by March 5.
“The landlord has attempted to work with Alleva and been very patient,” said Scott Markowitz, a partner at Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, which is representing the landlord. “This settlement allows Alleva to remain in business, just not in the location that they’re currently at.”
Pina Alleva, who immigrated from Benevento, Italy, founded the store in 1892 at the corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets. The Alleva family ran it until 2014, when Ms. King and her husband, John Ciarcia, a cousin of the last family owner, Robert Alleva, took over the business. Mr. Ciarcia, who died in 2015, was an actor on “The Sopranos” and appeared in the film “Goodfellas.” The actor Tony Danza, perhaps best known as the housekeeper dad on the television series “Who’s the Boss?” was a co-owner of the shop until 2017.
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