Photos courtesy of Neir’s Tavern
After a rent increase and the coronavirus pandemic left the fate of Neir’s Tavern in question, the history of the nearly 192-year-old Queens establishment will be preserved forever following a street co-naming ceremony Saturday. The intersection of 78th Street and 88th Avenue in Woodhaven is now known as “Neir’s Tavern Way,” honoring the waterhole that opened on the corner in 1829 and is considered New York City’s oldest bar.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio and owner Loycent Gordon at the ceremonial lease signing at Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven, Queens. Thursday, October 29, 2020. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
Historic Neir’s Tavern will stay open in Queens for at least another five years. The 191-year-old bar nearly shuttered earlier this year after a rent increase. It then temporarily closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Loycent Gordon–the owner of the Woodhaven watering hole–signed a new agreement with the landlords that was brokered by local officials and the Queens Chamber of Commerce. The new five-year lease gives Gordon the option to extend it an additional five years, which would bring the business into its 200th-year.
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Photo courtesy of Neir’s Tavern
After nearly shutting its doors earlier this year because of a rent increase and then temporarily closing in March because of the coronavirus, it’s been a tough few months for Neir’s Tavern, a bar in Queens founded more than 190 years ago. But, with support from regulars, the historic establishment in Woodhaven reopened this month for outdoor dining, the New York Post reported.
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Photo by CaptJayRuffins on Wikimedia Commons
This past October, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven, Queens celebrated its 190th anniversary. But last week, the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society reported on Twitter that the beloved and historic establishment would close its doors for good on Sunday. Originally opened in 1829 as a saloon called the “Old Blue Pump House,” Neir’s considers itself NYC’s oldest bar. When the tavern was in danger of closing in 2009, a local FDNY member and a group of friends bought and restored it, but in December of 2018, the building was sold unbeknownst to them. According to a Facebook post by Neir’s, they were unable to negotiate a new “affordable long-term lease” with the new owners. But when Mayor de Blasio heard the news, he and the city stepped in and saved the bar from closing.
How’d they do it?