Neir’s Tavern, the historic bar in Woodhaven, signed a new lease on Thursday, ensuring the tavern will tack on at least another five years onto its 191-year run in the neighborhood.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, the landlords, Ken and Henry Shi, and the tavern’s owner Loycent Gordon signed the five-year lease inside the bar, located at 87-48 78th St. The lease allows for an additional five years after the current lease ends in 2025.
The oldest bar in New York City has been the recipient of a great deal of community support, dating back to January, when the landlords threatened not to renew the lease to Gordon. The call to preserve the historic ale house – which was once used to film a scene in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” – made its way to the mayor, who came out in support of Gordon and Neir’s Tavern.
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio again showed his support by attending the lease signing. Several lawmakers, including State Assemblyman Mike Miller and Councilman Robert Holden, also dropped by to see the bar, which first opened in 1829, into the future.
“We could all do something for the comeback of Neir’s Tavern and also for the comeback of the city of New York,” Gordon said. “We all can do something, and I think this is an opportunity to start over. This is a new lease on life. This is an opportunity in the middle of a pandemic. We have an opportunity to start over and strive to create connection and not division.”
The bar also received support from small business advocates, including Thomas Grech, the CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Jonnel Doris, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and Raquel Olivares, the executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District.
While the wishing the bar continued success, de Blasio urged New Yorkers to buy local and support small businesses like Neir’s Tavern.
“Everyone has a choice this holiday season: you can go online, or you go down the street to your neighborhood store and spend your money there,” de Blasio said. “We can all get a new lease on life if we buy local and help these extraordinary businesses. They are a part of the heart and soul of who we are. This place when you come in here you feel the spirit of New York City. We gotta save it and we can all be a part of it.”
Additional reporting by Dean Moses.