FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JANUARY 16, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
‘Handshake’ deal will keep historic Neir’s Tavern open for business
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
One of the oldest bars in the city —
Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven — is staying
open aft er all.
Th e Queens Chamber of Commerce
announced Friday night a “handshake
agreement” between tavern owner
Loycent Gordon and the Woodhaven
property’s owners, Ken and Henry Shi,
to keep the historic, 190-year-old business
“We are very happy to have Neir’s
Tavern stay open and continue our 190
years of continuous operation,” said
Gordon, who thanked Mayor Bill de
Blasio and the community for their support.
“Th is wouldn’t have happened if it
wasn’t for the mayor stepping in, and if it
wasn’t for the landlord working with us,
and if it wasn’t for all of you supporting,
tweeting and sharing,” Gordon said. “It’s
a community eff ort and all three of these
organizations — the mayor, the elected
offi cials, the landlord, us — this is how
we made it: together. Th at’s the message
— community. We’re all a community,
whether it is a landlord, owner, politician.
Th is is the community. We have to fi nd a
way to fi nd a sense of community. To do
something that we know is important,
which I believe is Neir’s Tavern.”
Th e Queens Chamber of Commerce,
along with de Blasio, Councilman Robert
Holden and Assemblyman Mike Miller,
helped make the deal possible, according
to the chamber’s announcement.
“When I heard about what was happening
with Neir’s, I said, ‘Th is can not happen.
We can’t lose this bar. We can’t lose
this part of our history. We can’t lose this
part of our community.’ And I couldn’t
believe it, I did a double take this morning
— 190 years old!” de Blasio said. “Th is
place is magical and we have to protect it.”
“New York City’s small businesses are
what make this city so special, and as the
city’s oldest bar, Neir’s Tavern leads the
pack. I’m proud to have helped keep the
doors open so New Yorkers can continue
to enjoy a place that has meant so much to
so many over the years. Cheers to another
190 years!” he added.
Earlier on Friday, de Blasio said the city
would work to save Neir’s Tavern, a day
aft er Gordon announced it would shut
down due to unaff ordable rents and insuffi
On Friday morning, Gordon called into
the Brian Lehrer Show on WYNC and
asked the mayor what can be done to help
local historic businesses that are faced
with regulations and are forced to close
“I know it’s a private business, but isn’t
there some cultural signifi cance, we can
recognize it in terms of, like, citywide, that
we can kind of help protect this?” Gordon
said. “And now I’m fi ghting this greedy
landlord because he wants like, you know,
to charge two and a half times more rent
and we just can’t do it. What powers can
you use to help us?”
In response to Gordon, de Blasio condemned
the landlord’s rent hike, saying,
“I’m not clear why landlords do this —
where you have a historic business that’s
beloved in the community and the landlord
is still making a decent return and why
they have to jack up the rent all the time.”
“Th e original sin so oft en is a greedy
landlord. Th is drives me crazy. I think it’s
really disrespectful of local communities
and local culture,” de Blasio added.
Th e mayor then said his offi ce could
help Gordon with loans through Small
Business Services Commissioner Greg
Th omas J. Grech, president and CEO of
the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said
the chamber was thrilled to announce the
“handshake” deal Friday night.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of
Queens, adding to the unique character of
our neighborhoods and creating jobs and
opportunity for New Yorkers. 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,” Grech said.
Miller thanked all parties involved for
their commitment to reaching an agreement.
“Th ank you to the Shi brothers, building
owners of 87-48 78th St. and Loycent
Gordon, owner of Neir’s, for coming
together and reaching an agreement to
keep Neir’s in business,” Miller said.
Holden also applauded the eff ort to
keep the historic tavern open.
“It was a great team eff ort by the owner
Loy, the landlords, and city and state offi -
cials. We can all sleep well knowing that
this beloved 190-year institution will not
have to close its doors and can continue
serving the community,” he said.
Robert Pozarycki, Dean Moses and
Zach Gewelb contributed to this story.
Swastikas found inside vandalized car in Fresh Meadows: NYPD
BY JACOB KAYE
Police are investigating an anti-Semitic
incident in Fresh Meadows, where swastikas
were discovered written on the inside
of a car that had been broken into and
vandalized this weekend.
Th e crime, reported to the police
around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, is
being investigated as a hate crime incident,
according to the NYPD. In addition
to the swastikas, the vandals wrote foul
language on the seats of the car, which
was discovered at 76-22 173rd St., according
In response to the incident, Governor
Andrew Cuomo directed the State Police
Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the
“I am disgusted by the reports of swastikas
and hateful language found written
inside a car that was broken into
in Queens this morning,” Cuomo said.
“Th ese blatant anti-Semitic acts are meant
to instill fear and feed the cancer of hate
that has become pervasive across this
nation in recent years.”
Despite overall crime hitting a record
low in 2019, hate crimes were on the rise
this past year. Anti-Semitic hate crimes
were the driver for the increase, according
to the NYPD.
“Th e targeted attacks on Jews is escalating
at an alarming rate and has reared
its ugly head in our backyard overnight,”
said Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal.
“We will not submit to this tightening
clench of hate, and we will not stop fi ghting
until Jewish New Yorkers are able to
feel safe in our own neighborhoods and
Th e hate crime comes as Queens residents
continue their fi ght against the
recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks.
Several hundred people jammed into
MacDonald Park on Sunday, where
Jewish leaders and representatives of various
faiths demonstrated a united stance
against hate and anti-Semitism.
Photo via Daniel Rosenthal/Twitter
Courtesy of Queens Chamber of Commerce
A handshake agreement to keep the historic bar, which has served patrons in Woodhaven since 1829, open was reached Friday night.
Photo by Dean Moses
A huge celebration breaks out at Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven.