Deal reached to keep 190-year-old Neir's Tavern open in Queens

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Saturday, January 11, 2020
Deal reached to keep 190-year-old Neir's Tavern open in Queens
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Naveen Dhaliwal has more from Woodhaven.

WOODHAVEN, Queens (WABC) -- It's not the last call at Neir's on Friday.

The tavern, which was opened 190 years ago was slated to shut its doors for good on Sunday. On Friday, the Queens Chamber of Commerce announced it had a deal in place to keep the bars open.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had promised the city would try to help Neir's Tavern & Grill in Woodhaven stay open while blasting "greedy landlords" for its pending closure.

"There are very few bars in New York City, and that is why it was important to throw in what we had," de Blasio said.

The owner, Loy Gordon, called into the mayor's WNYC-AM radio show "Ask the Radio" Friday morning in a desperate attempt to save his beloved tavern after it faced a steep rent hike.

"I'm applauding them - they made it happen. I can't eat all the burgers and drink all the beer. We did it together," said Gordon.

The tavern occupies a small corner spot on 78th Street and was the backdrop for scenes in the mob hit movie classic "Goodfellas."

"You own an important part of history," the mayor told Gordon.

"I think the first challenge is you have a landlord that raised the rent, and I'm not clear why landlords do this," he said. "You have a historical business, beloved in the community, the landlord is still making a decent return, and why they have to jack up the rent all the time just drives me crazy."

The mayor called the imminent closing inappropriate and that the landlord should work with the owner instead to discuss an agreeable rent that would help sustain the iconic tavern.

"But that doesn't mean there aren't other things we can do," the mayor added.

The mayor promised to speak to the Landmarks Preservation Commission about Neir's Tavern, which has been denied landmark status in the past.


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