We were thrilled to see Neir’s, the historic Woodhaven tavern that has so often come to the verge of closure only to rise again, sign a five-year lease last week that will give it some of the stability it needs to survive and thrive.
But Neir’s owner Loycent Gordon could only do that with the help of elected officials and the Queens Chamber of Commerce, all of whom intervened to help him work things out with his landlords. Even Mayor de Blasio got involved to a point.
And while Neir’s occupies a special place as the city’s oldest bar to continuously operate in one location (it’s 191 years old), countless other pubs and eateries around the city are dying, due in large part to overly restrictive coronavirus regulations. This page has called on Gov. Cuomo more than once to let city establishments reopen at the same 50 percent capacity as others across the state — which has not caused any known spike in cases — and such a move is vital. Gordon is just one tavern keeper who’s waiting on Cuomo to ease up on the rules before he decides what next to invest in to keep his business going.
Maybe officials could also turn their Neir’s intervention into a reimagining of how eateries are regulated, and try to help rather than harm them, as long as the public is still kept safe.