murray hill market brings fresh fare to little italy


Michele Iacobelli Buckholtz has treasured memories of going to lunch with her dad in Little Italy. He grew up here when it was an Italian neighborhood with markets on nearly every corner. She soaked up the old neighborhood during these childhood visits.

Today, Buckholtz is recreating the tradition of the small Italian market -- with a contemporary twist. She recently renovated an historic storefront at Murray Hill Road and Paul Avenue in Little Italy. It reopened as the Murray Hill Market, which is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and carries fresh produce and groceries.

Patrons of the Murray Hill Market can expect something new with each visit. The specials change daily, based on fresh ingredients and the chef's whim. Some favorites appear consistently, however. Buckholtz offers meatball subs every Thursday, relying upon her mother's recipe of course.

Little Italy has changed since Buckholtz's father grew up here -- there are fewer Italian families now, more students and empty nesters. The small, corner markets have all but disappeared. Yet with the growth of University Circle and sharp condos sprouting up in Little Italy, demand exists for a contemporary market, Buckholtz says. She considers it part of her mission to provide fresh, healthy foods to area residents and employees, an amenity she says is lacking at other neighborhood stores.

The Murray Hill Market is also spicing up the food offerings in Little Italy. Although Italians are no longer the predominant ethnic group here, the restaurants along Mayfield and Murray Hill Roads still offer mostly Italian fare. While Buckholtz specializes in Italian foods, she also offers an array of other ethnic foods, including Jewish and French pastries, Middle Eastern dishes, and Puerto Rican rice and beans.

Source: Murray Hill Market
Writer: Lee Chilcote

Lee Chilcote
Lee Chilcote

About the Author: Lee Chilcote

Lee Chilcote is founder and editor of The Land. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks The Shape of Home and How to Live in Ruins. His writing has been published by Vanity Fair, Next City, Belt and many literary journals as well as in The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook, The Cleveland Anthology and A Race Anthology: Dispatches and Artifacts from a Segregated City. He is a founder and former executive director of Literary Cleveland. He lives in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood of Cleveland with his family.