Murray’s Cheese has opened a new cheese shop and restaurant on 28-30 Jackson Avenue, in Long Island City (LIC), a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens.
Designed by New York-based Rockwell Group, Murray’s Cheese Bar LIC is the restaurant’s flagship location and includes the company’s first-ever full-service bar, with an adjacent cheese shop selling more than 400 specialty items. Queens has already housed Murray’s cheese-aging caves since 2012, and the design team took inspiration from the many colors and materials used for cheese aging and cheesemaking while creating the location.
The seasonally themed menu at Murray’s Cheese Bar features a bento-box style cheese board, along with dishes available for takeout and delivery, as well as at several outdoor tables, while the retailer’s beverage program features the company’s first full-service bar with original house cocktails, frozen drinks, boozy ice pops, fresh nonalcoholic drinks, and wine and beer selected by General Manager/Beverage Manager Greg Cochran.
The adjacent cheese shop offers a rotating selection of pre-cut cheeses that Murray’s sources from around the world. Along with cheese, the shop carries more than 400 items, including charcuterie, fresh dairy, smoked fish, prepared foods, pasta and sauces, chocolates, fresh baguettes and iced coffee, which can be purchased in the store or ordered for delivery. The self-service shop invites the customer to explore the cheese case along with Murray’s trained cheesemongers.
Murray’s also has its own line of Cavemaster Reserve cheeses, many of which will be available in at the LIC shop, including Cavemaster Reserve Annelies, Hudson Flower, Stockinghall Cheddar, Project Z, Greensward and Mistoa.
The store/restaurant are located within a new residential development in LIC. A cheese library is the focus of the retail space, conceived as a minimal twist on Murray’s Cheese laboratories. Light oak, black and white tiles, and concrete adorn the shop, along with pendants inspired by the organic drape of cheesecloth. Copper and terracotta color details evoke the vats and molds used to make cheese. The restaurant continues this motif, combining a bolder, deeper and more vibrant color scheme. Purples, greens and browns suggest the changes in cheese chemistry as it ages, while custom shelving refers the cave storage where cheese is aged.
Meanwhile, the flagship Murray’s Cheese Shop on 254 Bleecker Street in New York’s Greenwich Village – a fixture in the neighborhood for 80 years -- has recently reopened to the public with a limited selection; part of the store has also been set aside for Murray’s national e-commerce business. The brand will also shortly reveal upcoming changes to its Murray’s Mac + Cheese restaurant in Greenwich Village.
Along with its free-standing locations, Murray’s Cheese has had a store-within-a-store presence in Kroger stores since 2008. The grocer merged with the company and acquired Murray’s Greenwich Village store in 2017.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,757 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.