Murray’s Cheese has expanded its footprint in New York with the opening of a new location in the Long Island City section of Queens, New York. The cheese shop and restaurant, which features a design from locally based Rockwell Group, will serve as the brand’s flagship location. Equipped with the brand’s first full-service bar, Murray’s Cheese Bar LIC occupies a new residential structure, and is crafted to echo the industrial vernacular of the neighborhood.
The onsite retail space is conceived as a “cheese library,” putting a minimalist twist on Murray’s traditional cheese laboratories and nearby cheese aging caves. Light oak, black and white tiles, and abundant concrete round out the shop, which is also outfitted with pendants inspired by the organic drape of cheesecloth. Copper and terracotta colors recall vats and molds used to make cheese as well. The restaurant space showcases a deeper, more bold materiality with a vibrant color palette of purple, green, blue, and brown.
At the moment, the restaurant has tables on the sidewalk, socially distanced, and there’s waiter service for sandwiches, including a grilled cheese, a cheese board assortment and salads. For dinner, there’s a half roast chicken with puttanesca sauce and cheesy polenta, and a risotto. The menu from Chef de Cuisine Clare Malfitano highlights cheeses and fresh dairy alongside seasonal produce, carefully sourced meats, and ingredients from the Murray’s shop. Next to the restaurant is the well-stocked cheese shop, where no more than three customers are permitted at a time. Murray’s has also made some changes in Manhattan, moving its Mac + Cheese from 250 Bleecker Street to 264 Bleecker Street
Murray’s Cheese is an artisanal cheese and specialty foods retailer and wholesaler based in Greenwich Village in New York City. The store was founded by Murray Greenberg in Greenwich Village in 1940 as an egg and dairy wholesaler. Louis Tudda later took over as the store’s owner until 1991, when the store was purchased by Robert Kaufelt, who published the 2006 book The Murray’s Cheese Handbook.
After a second location was opened in New York’s Grand Central Market in Grand Central Terminal in 2002, in 2008 a charcuterie named Murray’s Real Salami opened, also in Grand Central Market. In 2010 the two Grand Central Market locations merged to become a second flagship store. After 2010, Murray’s has since expanded to include a 48-seat cheese-centered wine bar and restaurant (also located in Greenwich Village) named Murray’s Cheese Bar, opened in 2012.
In 2017, Kroger Co. purchased Murray’s Cheese and acquired the building housing the New York City flagship of the specialty cheese shop, which has outposts in hundreds of Kroger supermarkets nationwide. “For cheese lovers and connoisseurs, it doesn’t get more authentic than Murray’s,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman said. “Our customers are excited to buy the unique offerings of Murray’s Cheese right in our stores, and we’re excited to ensure this iconic cheese shop will remain a part of the Kroger family for many years to come.”
To learn more about Murray’s Cheese Long Island City location, visit their website.