87-48 78th St., Woodhaven
Woodhaven’s historic Neir’s Tavern, built in 1829, is a nearly 200-year-old watering hole and arguably New York City’s oldest bar. It was originally located at the entrance of the Woodhaven Union Course Horse Racing Track.
The racehorse track was dismantled in the 1880s, and the bar is the only thing in the area remaining that designates the entrance and existence of the racetrack. After nearly two centuries, Loycent Gordon, a New York City firefighter, is only the fifth owner. The Neir family took over the bar in the 1880s and operated it until 1967. The Strauss family owned it until 2009.
Today, the bar is a favorite local haunt, with a cozy atmosphere and stellar pub menu. The décor represents the bar’s long history, including scenes filmed there from Goodfellas and Tower Heist and a stage dedicated to Mae West, who performed at the watering hole in her early days. Gordon can point out to patrons where, in the 1920s, the owners hid booze during Prohibition. The bar’s stories are endless—even an old set of encyclopedias within the bar has one.