Neir’s Tavern, the 190-year-old Woodhaven pub that is believed to be the oldest bar in New York City, is closing Sunday, the owner said in a surprise announcement posted online Thursday morning.
Loycent Gordon, the New York City firefighter who bought and restored Neirs 11 years ago, said the bar had been operating in the red for the last year and that he could no longer sustain the losses.
“Sunday January 12th, I will have to step down as owner of Neirs Tavern and I have no one available to replace me,” he said in the open letter.
“I’ve been unable to obtain an affordable long term lease to reach our goal of the 200th anniversary in 2029.
“I have no more money after Sunday. I’m sorry I let you down.”
The historic building at 78th Street and 88th Avenue that has housed the bar since 1829 was sold to an investment company in late 2018.
At the time, Gordon said the sale was made without informing the tenants.
He had been in negotiations for a long term lease with the new owners since then, but he was unable to get a suitable deal.
“I’m operating month to month with an unaffordable rent and insufficient sales to overcome a year of losing money every month,” the letter said.
Gordon said he was still trying to find a new owner.
“I hope my Neirs Team will be here until Sunday in the event a miracle happens,” he said.