Neir's (then The Old Abbey) in the 19th century
|Slogan||The most famous bar you've never heard of|
|Current owner(s)||David Eng, Alex Ewen, Loycent Gordon|
|Food type||Pub, American steakhouse|
|Street address||87-48 78th Street|
|City||New York City|
The bar was founded in 1829 and, according to the current owners, is one of the oldest bars in the country, having been in nearly continuous operation since 1829 (except during Prohibition), under various names such as Blue Pump Room, Old Abbey, Neir’s Social Hall, and Union Course Tavern. The bar was founded near the Union Course racetrack (extant 1821–1888) and hosted many track patrons during the track's existence. The establishment was owned by the Neir family from 1898 to 1967, after which it went into decline and closed in 2009.
New owners bought the bar and a major refurbishment followed, including restoration of the 150-year-old mahogany bar and the installation of a kitchen serving a small selection of dinner entrees as well as pub fare, and the establishment re-opened in 2010. According to the Queens Chronicle, the restored mahogany bar was originally installed "when Ulysses S. Grant was in the White House."
Scenes from the film Goodfellas were shot in the bar, as were scenes from Tower Heist. According to some sources, Mae West made her first professional appearances here, although other sources dispute this as unconfirmed legend. Neir's Tavern itself avers the Mae West connection and offers a hamburger dish called "Mae West".
- Luis Gronds (March 27, 2014). "Neir's Tavern: 185 Years Of Greatness In Woodhaven". Queens Tribune. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- Lisa L. Colangelo (June 22, 2010). "Woodhaven bar Neir's Tavern gets a time-machine fix up". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "A Quick history of Neirs bar". Neir's Bar website. Neir's Bar. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "Oldest Bar in New York!". Project Woodhaven. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- "Menu". Neir's Bar website. Neir's Bar. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "Aged in the bottle: old pubs, Around for decades, these Queens bars have passed tests of time and taste". Queens Chronicle. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- "Mae West: Neir's, Far From Truth". Mae West. June 24, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
Fact is, though one of the former owners of Neir's had hung up a Mae West poster on a door a long time, it is doubtful that Mae ever set foot in such a blue collar saloon. And was the tin-ceilinged corner bar serving alcohol at all during the 1920s, in defiance of Prohibition, when she was in the neighborhood?