“Some people say 'Robert Dinero performed here' or 'Mae West performed here' and that's all good, but what really matters is the community, the people that frequent the place,” said Gordon. “They have history here.”
On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the iconic Woodhaven watering hole and call on New York City to designate the tavern as a landmark. A petition was passed around between plates of onion rings and ice cold beers.
Gordon reached out to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in August of 2015 about possible landmarking, but hasn't heard back from the agency.
“I don't want the [commission] to think it's just me,” Gordon said. “We can show them it's not a one-handed effort, it's a community effort.”
Gordon shared one story of a customer who recently lost his father and thanked him for keeping the tavern up and running.
“My father loved this place,” he told Gordon. “He comes here all the time and this is his favorite seat and I'm sitting here, but unfortunately he passed away a few months ago. I never had a good relationship with him and now I feel like I'm having a beer with my father and reconnecting.
“That's one of those stories that's plentiful,” Gordon added.
On Saturday, Martin Colberg, president of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association answered the big question on everybody's mind: what makes Neir's so special?
“The minute you walk up to the door, you know there's something special about this place,” he said. “And as things are changing in our community and in our city, we're losing that. So we have to make sure we come together to keep this. This is unique.”
Colberg also highlighted just how friendly and welcoming Neir's has always been to him and the Woodhaven community.
“This is a place that you can walk into for a game, you can walk into for a family event and within minutes you're already making new friends,” he said. “This is one of the friendliest environments to come into when you're talking about a bar.”
State Senator Joseph Addabbo was just one of several elected officials who joined the rally on Saturday. He referenced Manhattan barEar Inn, which opened in 1817 and was granted landmark status.
“This is our Ear Inn,” he said. “This is the fabric of Woodhaven, and that is why Neir's must be landmarked.”