City’s oldest bar, of “Goodfellas” fame, gets last-minute lifeline

Neir's Tavern in Woodhaven will stay open after handshake agreement with landlord

New York /
Jan.January 10, 2020 06:58 PM
Neir’s Tavern (Credit: Google Maps)

Neir’s Tavern (Credit: Google Maps)

The city’s oldest bar won’t be running dry after all.

Neir’s Tavern in Woodside, which was facing closure this weekend thanks to an impending rent hike, got a last-minute reprieve Friday afternoon.

Supporters of Neir’s stepped in and negotiated an agreement between the watering hole’s owner and its landlord, the Queens Chamber of Commerce announced.

“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,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Grech said in a statement. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of Queens, adding to the unique character of our neighborhoods and creating jobs and opportunity for New Yorkers.”

Council member Robert Holden, Assembly member Michael Miller and Mayor Bill de Blasio helped broker the handshake deal to keep the bar open, though terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The mayor added an appearance at the bar to his Friday night schedule. The bar’s owner, Loycent Gordon, had called in to the mayor’s radio appearance Friday morning to discuss his plight, which he blamed on his landlord.

Neir’s has been operating continuously in the same location for 190 years, which it claims is longer than any other bar in the city. The watering hole was used for bar scenes in the 1990 mob classic “Goodfellas” and was also in the 2011 film “Tower Heist.” But it had seen its rent hiked recently to $3,000 per month from $2,000 and was facing another hike to $5,000, the New York Times reported.


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