First Look at Murray’s Cheese Bar, Opening This Week in the Village


Since Rob Kaufelt bought Murray’s Cheese Shop in 1991, he has relocated the South Village landmark twice, expanded next door, built subterranean caves, and leased a distribution center in Queens. Murray’s Cheese Bar, three doors down from the mothership, is the next logical step: a 56-seat, subway-tiled restaurant serving fromage in all its sharp and stinky forms, under the direction of chef fromager Tia Keenan, whose work at Casellula helped pioneer the cheese-bar format. She’s divided her Murray’s menu into categories like Fry (Buffalo Cheese Curds), Pasta (Village Kugel), and Between Bread (Spicy Salami Monsieur), and has even concocted a rarebit Cheddar burger, sauced tableside. Consider also the pairing possibilities: wine, beer, cider, artisanal sodas, and kombucha on tap. And this is just the beginning of the Kaufelt-Keenan collaboration. "We want to do a grilled-cheese thing," says Kaufelt. "I think we might do that next year."

264 Bleecker St., nr. Morton St.; 646-476-8882