Rob Kaufelt, Murray’s proprietor, is world-renowned for his ability to select exotic and delectable cheeses from France, Italy, Spain, England and other countries. By moving his retail operation across Bleecker Street, he has more than doubled the size of his operation and added hundreds of new products that go well with cheese, from fig spread to breads and crackers to pates and so on. Also you'll find cheese course classes, cheese tastings, and literally everything under the sun and all things cheese in this dairy emporium. Can't make it downtown? Murray's also has a small outpost in the Grand Central food hall.
Founded in 1940 by Murray Greenberg, Murray’s is part of Greenwich Village'a rich food history. Murray was a Jewish veteran of the Spanish Civil War who was rumored to be a Communist – but pay no mind, he was a smart capitalist who built a great reputation for the business. In the 70s, Murray sold the shop to his clerk Louis Tudda, an Italian immigrant from Calabria. In those days, it was a humble butter and eggs shop that had a lot of block cheeses and catered to the little Italian enclave that Bleecker Street was at the time. Rob Kaufelt bought the Murray’s in the early 90s when standing in line one day at Murray’s he heard then-owner Louis Tudda say that he was closing the shop. Rob made him an offer, becoming the third owner of New York’s oldest cheese shop, joining a neighborhood of small food shops that catered to locals and visitors alike.
Since then Rob has been traveling the globe, finding new cheeses that no one had ever heard of and bringing them back to the US. He and his team travel regularly both in Europe and across the US in search of the new and great artisan cheeses being produced from California to Vermont and from Athens to Wales. And everywhere in between.
Murray's Cheese is located in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The western slice of Greenwich Village—although some will tell you it's a separate neighborhood altogether; don't listen to them—the West Village is a somewhat sleepier version of its larger neighborhood, with many tree-lined streets populated by residential buildings and punctuated ever-so-lightly with restaurants and bars. The locals have fought notoriously hard throughout the years to keep raucous bars and clubs from staying open—or even opening at all—to preserve the relative quiet of their neighborhood. The West Village stretches east from the Hudson River to 6th Avenue, and north from Houston Street to West 14th. It's northwestern corner is chewed off by the Meatpacking District, where the very sorts of restaurants and bars West Village residents try to keep out of their 'hood flourish. The majority of Bleecker Street's dining, shopping, and drinking options exist on the West Village's end of the street, with a small shopping mecca surrounding the intersection of 7th Avenue, where many high-end retailers have stores, like Brooks Brothers' Black Fleece, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and a whole lot more. There's plenty of history here, and the bars are no exception—Dylan Thomas famously stumbled out of the White Horse Tavern heavy with whiskey on the night he expired at the Hotel Chelsea. For those aiming to avoid the thumping, throbbing nightclubs of the Meatpacking District, jazz can be had at Fat Cat, the legendary Village Vanguard, and smaller, quieter establishments like 55 Bar. If you'd like a more structured day of drinking, the folks at the Literary Pub Crawl put on a fantastic and informative tour. The sophisticated residents of the West Village have led a number of excellent restaurants to open in the neighborhood, from Italian favorite Sant Ambroeus, April Bloomfield's game-changing gastropub The Spotted Pig, Yerba Buena, and Perry St.. Of course, if you're not in the mood for high-end cuisine in mood-inducing settings, there's pizza on offer at John's of Bleecker Street, but you'd be better served by walking a little further east and feasting one our favorite New York slice at Joe's. And if it's a burger you're looking for, the city's first Umami Burger is lurking over on 6th Avenue, while perennial favorite Corner Bistro is on 7th. While the West Village is low on museums, it has two of the best independent cinemas in the city between Film Forum and neighborhood landmark IFC Center.
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