Neir's Tavern Way

Neir's Tavern is one of the oldest and most famous bars in Woodhaven, Queens. The tavern was originally named the Old Blue Pump House and opened near the now defunct Union Course racetrack in 1892. Loycent Gordon bought the property in 2009 and renamed it Neir's Tavern in honor of the family that had owned the property from the 1890s until 1967.

The tavern had many owners and a colorful history. When the Union Course race track closed down in 1898, it was purchased by Louis Neir. Neir added a ballroom, built the first bowling alley in Queens, and added rooms upstairs for a hotel, calling it “Neir’s Social Hall”.

Neir’s Hall was very successful, and was at its height of popularity between 1900-1910. Louis Neir’s nephew Joseph Neir, worked as a cleaning boy, cleaning the racing stables that were across the street and originally part of the Union Course Race Track.

When Louis died in 1929, Julia, his wife, became owner, and Joseph the manager of the business. In 1945, Julia turned over the title and ownership to Joseph, who continued to work at the bar until his own death in 1963. Lulu Neir (until 1967), and Carol (Neir) Foley ran the tavern until an arson fire, and declining revenue led to the Neir family selling the property in 1980.


David Cruz, "We're Literally On The Map": Queens Street Co-Named After Historic Neir's Tavern," Gothamist, October 2, 2021,

"LOCAL LAWS OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK FOR THE YEAR 2021," accessed June 23, 2023,

Neir's Tavern, "THE HISTORY OF NEIR’S TAVERN," accessed June 23, 2023,