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A Historic Cheese Shop in New York's Little Italy Is Closing After 130 Years in Business Economic hardships are the closing doors of Alleva Dairy, the oldest cheese shop in America.

By Dan Bova

Paul Zimmerman | Getty Images

A historic New York City cheese shop will no longer be cutting the cheese.

The owner of Alleva Dairy, which bills itself as America's oldest cheese shop, told the New York Post that after over a century of doing business in New York City's Little Italy, the shop is being forced to close its doors.

"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.

Related: The Rise and Fall of Chuck E. Cheese in Photos

The shop survived historic disasters, including Superstorm Sandy and 9/11, but the pandemic put Alleva in a financial hole it could not dig itself out of. The monthly rent is $23,756, according to court records.

The Post reports that the shop was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy after accumulating about $628,00 dollars in back rent.

Renowned for its fresh mozzarella, ricotta, cured meats and cannoli, Alleva drew everyday shoppers and celebrities alike. Actors Leah Remini, Michael Imperioli, Tony Danza (pictured above), and comedian Sebastian Maniscalco were fans, as was actor Chaz Palminteri who told the Post, "It's a loss. It's sad that a store like that has to go under. Alleva was a great store."

Related: Sleep Company Will Pay You to Eat Cheese Late at Night

Owner King says she reached out for government assistance, but her letters went unanswered. Food and Wine writes that one COVID-19 relief program called the Restaurant Revitalization Fund had promised business owners support, but "the pot was quickly depleted as the demand exceeded the allocated grants."

Down, but never out, she vowed to resurrect the famed establishment. "I have plans to open a new location and continue the Alleva legacy," King said. "I want to thank everyone for their love and support."

Related: What Mac and Cheese Can Teach You About Business

Alleva is far from alone in its struggle. Food blog Eater New York reported in December that since the pandemic began, at least 4,500 restaurants have closed, noting "Since it's difficult to track restaurant and bar closings, experts say that number is likely much higher and will take years to fully assess."

If you want a last bite, Alleva Dairy (located on the corner of Mulberry Street and Grand Street) will shut its doors for good on March 5.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

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