WOODHAVEN, Queens (PIX11) — It’s the most famous bar you’ve never heard of. That’s the slogan at Neir’s Tavern, one of the oldest bars in continuous operation in the country.
Neir’s Tavern has been on the corner of 88th Avenue and 78th Street since 1829, and it almost didn’t survive the pandemic.
“When the rent almost tripled, I thought we were done, but we became a national story, and the community came through,” Loycent Gordon, Neir’s owner since 2009, told PIX11 News.
During a big block party celebrating its 193rd birthday, regulars at Neir’s said the secret to its success is its owner of the past 13 years, Loy Gordon, and the sense of community he’s created in this neighborhood saloon.
“It’s a miracle,” State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, who represents the neighborhood, told PIX11 News. “If it were on a commercial strip, it may not have survived, but it is part of this neighborhood of home.”
The wife of the owner, Aisha, added that the customers reflect the neighborhood.
“We are Black and brown and white and yellow,” she told PIX11 News.
So, whether it’s in the bouncy castle, dancing to the DJ, or posing for the “Goodfellas” challenge, all eyes are geared toward the 200th birthday party in 2029.
“Now it is all about we,” Gordon, the owner, added.
So much so that part of the birthday bash proceeds will help Hurricane Fiona victims in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.