Before the pandemic, things were looking dire for the historic
watering hole Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven, Queens. It nearly closed due
to a threatened rent increase — the bar was paying around $2,000 a
month, which was going to go to $5,400, according to owner Loycent
Gordon — until
*Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped in and helped strike a deal
with the new landlord to keep the doors open. But when the city went into lockdown in March, the bar seemed like a goner.
“When this happened after we got Neir’s a new lease on life, it felt a
punch in the gut just as we were catching our breath,” Gordon, who is
also a lieutenant in the FDNY, told The Post.
But once again, the Lazarus of saloons is back slinging burgers and
beers — now with outdoor seating and a range of creative ideas to engage
regulars, who Gordon said really saved the place.
“People came out for the first weekend despite us not having the most
sophisticated set-up. We are focusing on our strengths and have
whittled down our menu to fries, sweet potato fries, burger and wings,”
said Gordon, 40, who bought the bar in 2009 when it was under threat of
being turned into a convenience store.
Founded in 1829, Neir’s houses a 150-year-old mahogany bar and has
provided a scenic backdrop for movies including “Goodfellas and “Tower
Heist,” and was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.” It also, Gordon points out, survived the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.