Take a long hard look at the colorful signs that herald the excellent deals at East Village Cheese, because they may not be around for much longer. A tipster sends word to EV Grieve that an expansion of the Duane Reade down the block spells doom for the cheese institution, which will reportedly close along with other shops on the block. The owner of Excel Custom Framing says a "handshake deal" was formed between the pharmacy and the property's landlord back in December and that leases to the frame shop and cheese shop would not be renewed.

A worker answering the phone at the cheese shop this morning couldn't provide any details but we'll update later if we hear back from ownership. Clothing boutique Project 36 and P&P Convenience store have already been gutted; a call to the neighboring UPS store yielded no further information.

If the cheese shop does close, it'll be just another casualty in Duane Reade's colonization of Manhattan. We don't need a larger selection of paper towels and nail polish, but we're gonna get it, of course. What we do need are fantastic, independently-owned businesses that supply us with reasonably priced cheese—seriously, wedges of brie are often priced at $1—delicious pantry staples and charming signage that makes us smile.