87-48 78th St, Woodhaven, NY, US
Capacity: 74 Age Limit: 21
Bio: Neir's, among the oldest and most historic bars in the country, is located in the Woodhaven section of Queens in New York City. More than 180 years old, it is one of the few old drinking establishments that has been in almost continuous operation - Prohibition not withstanding - and in the same location, for its entire history. Neir's is known as the tavern where Mae West first performed, where actors such as W.C. Fields and business men like Fred Trump (Donald's father) would gather for a drink. It also has gained fame as the bar in which the classic Martin Scosese film, "Goodfellas," starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, was filmed. Neir's was founded in October, 1829 as "The Old Blue Pump House," by Cadwallader R. Colden, the manager of the famed Union Course racetrack that was then across the street. In 1835, The Blue Pump House was renamed "The Old Abbey." As the fortunes of the Union Course race track declined, The Old Abbey gained a reputation as a "notorious rumseller" that catered to the crowds of "black legs, thieves, housebreakers [and] fighting men" that were going to the races. In 1851 The Old Abbey was purchased by Nathan F. Graves, a distinguished politician and banker, who cleaned it up and kept it for almost 40 years. When the race track closed down, the tavern was bought in 1898 by Louis Neir. He expanded it by adding a ballroom, a bowling alley, rooms upstairs for a hotel, and he called it "Neir's Social Hall." The Neir's family eventually sold the place in 1967 and it then became "The Union Course Tavern. "In 2009, the tavern was closed for eight months for restoration, including refinishing the 150-year old mahogany bar and fixtures, and has reopened once again as "Neir's."