Jan. 9, 2020 By Kristen Torres
The historic Neir’s Tavern will be shutting its doors this Sunday after nearly 200 years of catering to locals in the Woodhaven community.
Owner Loy Gordon said in a goodbye email that he was forced to shut down the bar, located at 87-48 78th Street, after being unable to negotiate an affordable, long-term lease for the iconic establishment.
“Everyday I pray I would find a way to dedicate more time to overcome these challenges until yesterday I had to face the truth,” Gordon wrote. “Neir’s Tavern is losing money and I don’t have the time to help to overcome it.”
Gordon has been the owner of Neir’s Tavern for the last 11 years, but unaffordable rent hikes coupled with a decline in sales forced him to close the bar down for good.
Previous efforts to designate the establishment as a historical landmark by community organizers also failed after the Landmark Preservation Commission ruled it did not “rise to the level of significance to warrant landmark status.”
The Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society released a statement via Twitter on Thursday calling the closing of Neir’s Tavern “a loss to the history of New York City.”
Neir’s Tavern was founded in 1829 as The Blue Pump Room and was renamed The Old Abbey in 1835 before becoming Neir’s Tavern in 1898. It was allegedly the first place Mae West performed, and was the hangout of choice for businessmen such as Fred Trump.
The Tavern also appeared in a few scenes from popular film “Goodfellas” and was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”
Neirs Tavern is set to serve its last customers on Jan. 12.