Beloved Queens bar Neir’s saved from closing

Considered by some to be the oldest bar in New York City, Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven, Queens had been facing its final last call due to unaffordable rent and insufficient sales. However, thanks to a new deal struck between the bar’s owner, Loycent Gordon, and property owners Ken and Henry Shi, it will remain in business. 

Gordon took over the bar 11 years ago, but had been struggling financially to keep it open, operating without a lease and paying just over $2,000 in rent. When he discovered that his landlords wanted to more than double his rent, he thought the worst had finally come.

Gordon placed a call into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s radio show Friday morning in a desperate attempt to see if something could be done, and thanks to De Blasio and the Queens Chamber of Commerce, something was.

“We are thrilled to announce a handshake deal has been struck between Loycent Gordon and Ken and Henry Shi,” said Thomas J. Grech, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of Queens, adding to the unique character of our neighborhoods and creating jobs and opportunity for New Yorkers. It would be a shame to lose an institution with as much history as Neir’s, and we’re thrilled the bar will continue to serve its patrons for years to come. This would not have been possible without the efforts of New York City Council Member Robert Holden and New York State Assembly Member Michael Miller. The support and intervention from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team was also instrumental in reaching this agreement.”

“We are very happy to have Neir’s Tavern stay open and continue our 190 years of continuous operation,” said Loycent Gordon, owner of Neir’s Tavern.

Neir’s Taven originally opened in 1829 and is known as “the most famous bar you’ve never heard of.” A neighborhood staple, the bar was a favorite of actress Mae West and scenes for the films Tower Heist and Goodfellas were shot there. 


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