Neir’s isn’t closing anymore
One of New York City’s oldest bars will live to fight another day. Mayor Bill de Blasio actually followed through on his promise of keeping the 190-year-old Neir’s Tavern open, helping broker a last minute deal with the building’s landlord late Friday to ensure that the bar will stay open at least another five years.
Neir’s current owner, Loy Gordon, announced in a heartfelt email to the bar’s staff last week that he would have close the bar on Sunday due to “insufficient sales,” and the fact that the landlord had increased the rent by more than $2,000 per month to $5,400 per month. The following day, de Blasio appeared on his weekly “Ask the Mayor” segment on WNYC and vowed to keep the bar open.
Later that same day, several local elected officials met with building landlord Henry Shi and convinced him not to increase the rent by as much as he originally wanted. Shi was concerned about getting a mortgage on the building because it lacks a proper certificate of occupancy and flouts the current zoning laws. City officials have promised to help get the building up to code and will provide a small business grant to spruce up the Queens clapboard building.
Neir’s opened in 1829 and has seen several notable patrons over the years: local Mae West performed here, Donald Trump’s father Fred was a regular, and the mahogany and tin-clad bar was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and the Martin Scorcese film Goodfellas.
In other news:
— Williamsburg’s California cafe-inspired all-day restaurant Gertie’s is partnering up with popular Los Angeles delicatessen Freedman’s for a pop-up dinner tonight featuring dishes like pastrami cured duck, chicken schnitzel, and burnt black and white cookie.
— And later this month, acclaimed Williamsburg bistro Pheasant is teaming up with the Meat Hook for a dinner on Sunday, January 26. It’s intended to transport diners to 1970s Paris and will feature dishes like terrine de pork maison. Tickets cost $75 for the dining room and $70 for the bar.
— Eater Young Gun Zoe Kanan is leaving her role as head baker at the Freehand Hotel. She’s taking a break for now and plans to announce next steps in February.
— Hell yeah:
“The best scoop is a scoop of ice cream,” 10-year-old tells me upon learning I’m a reporter.— Emily Ngo (@emilyngo) January 11, 2020