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?