East Village Cheese Shop closes leaving smelly cheese behind

Friday, December 22, 2017
East Village Cheese Shop closes leaving smelly cheese behind
N.J. Burkett reports from the East Village.

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A cheese shop in Manhattan has their storefront neighbors in a justified snit.

The store, run by former Tibetan monks, suddenly closed two weeks ago and, now without electricity the cheese inside is rotting and it stinks.

Neighbors say you don't really notice it from the street. What are believed to be cases of gourmet cheese are just rotting away behind the "closed" sign at the East Village Cheese Shop.

But step inside the hat maker next door and it's enough to make a homicide detective blush.

"No one's been back since the power went out," said Julia Knox, of East Village Hats.

Knox says the owners haven't been seen in at least two weeks. She believes they've abandoned the store and their apparently rotting inventory.

"Everything was okay and then we had that warm snap and over the warm days there started to be a buildup of the smell. The cheeses started wafting over the top of the wall and into our shop," Knox said.

And every day, she says, it gets worse. Her upstairs neighbors are starting to worry.

"You just live one flight up, are you worried it will make it to your apartment?" Eyewitness News Reporter N.J. Burkett asked.

"It might just, it might just. But right now, I don't smell anything, but I hope they clean it up by the time that happens," said Stephanie Godino, a neighbor.

Knox makes all of the hats herself. She says the odor could ruin them and calls to the city's 311 line have gone nowhere.

"I mean, the hats are made of cloth" Burkett said.

"Yeah they are felt and they totally will absorb smell if they are affected too much so I'm pretty worried," Knox said.

The owners could not be reached for comment. The store's phone line is apparently disconnected.

It's a good thing it's the first day of winter and not the first day of summer.