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Historic Neir's Tavern in Queens joins Juneteenth Restaurant Crawl

Juneteenth NYC kicks off festivities this week to mark the holiday
Juneteenth NYC kicks off festivities this week to mark the holiday 02:14

NEW YORK - Juneteenth NY is kicking off festivities this week to mark the holiday, and CBS New York has partnered with the organization to highlight culture and community.

One of the events is a restaurant crawl highlighting Black-owned businesses. CBS New York's Elle McLogan visited a Queens tavern that's bringing history to life.

NYC firefighter saves historic tavern

"To be part of the Juneteenth Restaurant Crawl, it's just an honor," Neir's Tavern owner Loycent Gordon said.

For him, history is the foundation upon which community is built. He was working as a New York City firefighter when he heard the historic pub was facing closure. He jumped in to help save it.

Hanging on a wall is the tavern's oldest known photo, taken in 1898, depicting members of the Neir family standing out front.

And now, Neir's is a part of Gordon's family. His 8-year-old son Evan particularly likes the French fries.

"It's very tasty, the food," Evan Gordon said.

Neir's Tavern celebrating Juneteenth

For Juneteenth, the menu will incorporate jerk chicken as a nod to Gordon's Jamaican heritage. The Haymaker's Punch, a cocktail associated with early American farmers, combines molasses, apple cider vinegar, and Gordon's special twist, Jamaican rum. 

Neir's is believed to have first opened more than three decades before June 19, 1865, when enslaved people were declared free in the aftermath of the Civil War.

For Gordon, commemorating Juneteenth is an opportunity to celebrate Black entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and welcome new faces around his mahogany bar.

The Juneteenth Restaurant Crawl begins Friday.

You can email Elle with Queens story ideas by CLICKING HERE

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