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Historic Woodhaven Tavern to Close Sunday After Nearly 200-Year Run

Neir’s Tavern at 87-48 78th St. (Facebook)

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.

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When did the landlord become responsible for making sure that your business stays open?? I’ll take the heat for this comment but if your lease is up and the landlord is willing to leave it empty or find a new tenant how can the Mayor or anyone else force his hand? Do you people not see something wrong with taking away the landlord’s right? No, you don’t because the fight is always for the person we feel is the victim.. The landlord has the right to seek market rates once the lease is up. I’m sorry but who’s in the business of not making the most money possible out of their investment to be “nice”. Business is Business…

Dr. Barry Feinstein

True but it seems the locals only care once the business is leaving or gone. If they cared and patronized these establishments while they’re in business they would not close their doors and remain open.

Chris Pizzolorusso

Landlords want to make as much as they can, but greed is usually what its about. Sorry to hear this news. Its a historical place in a historical neighborhood. 😭

Packard Streeter

Can we find out why the rent is outrageous and unsustainable? Has the landlord been interviewed?


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