By Victoria Merlino
A Woodhaven watering hole will be celebrating its 190th anniversary on Oct. 5 — making it older than more than half the states in the country.
Neir’s Tavern has been around since 1829, beginning the same year that Andrew Jackson became president. Called the Old Blue Pump House at its inception, it became Neir’s when Louis Neir bought it in 1898. He added a bowling alley and hotel, and even ran the place as a speakeasy during Prohibition.
Neir’s changed hands several times up until 2009, when Loy Gordon, an FDNY lieutenant and the current owner, bought the bar along with some friends to save it from closure.
The tavern also has an illustrious history in film — moviegoers may remember seeing it in scenes from 1990’s Oscar-nominated “Goodfellas” and 2011’s “Tower Heist.”
Gordon, his friends and the community will honor the long history of Neir’s through a block party on 88th Avenue, between 78th Street and 77th Street, from noon to 6 p.m. The party will feature games, food and raffles.
“This party is a reminder to all that Neir’s is still a community gathering place for those who believe in the value of supporting historic community businesses,” Gordon said. “Without people actually coming in ─ instead of putting us on their To-Do list ─ we wouldn’t be here today.”