NEW YORK - Neir's Tavern is the most famous bar you've never heard of. But if you're from Woodhaven, Queens, then you, your parents, your grandparents, and your great-great-grandparents have probably shared a pint there at some point.
"Someone would have to take here and bring you here and invite you almost like they're inviting you to their living room," owner Loy Gordon said. "You don't bring the whole world to your living room, right? But you invite the people that really care and I think that's what's so special."
As Neir's Tavern celebrates its 190th anniversary, Gordon hopes the iconic establishment can be around for years to come despite gentrification and increasing rents.
"We also got to remember those places that just have some of our soul," Gordon said. "And if we leave those places behind I think we also leave the real substance of New York City behind."
The anniversary committee is actually made of customers who care about the preservation of Neir's Tavern.
"They came together and they don't get paid—they feel like it's important enough to rally behind something like this to be a part of history," Gordon said.
There's like a lot of regulars, which I'm not really used to in New York, I feel like in New York a lot of people come," bartender Brian Rottiers said. "So that was the first thing when I noticed about working here. You see the same people a lot—it's comforting and it's cool 7
Neir's Tavern was the watering hole in Goodfella's, Mae West lived around the corner and performed here, but for locals, it's a home away from home
"People of been coming here for 40 years—longer than I've been alive," Rottiers said. "If you take away from people, it's going to leave a hole in the community."
"The day the community don't care anymore, I believe, is the day that Neir's Tavern will be gone," Gordon said.