New Yorkers are constantly having heated discussions about the ‘Best of’ anything to you can think of and then of course there’s the fights about what is the oldest this or that. The fight over what is the oldest bar is one such, with 3 locations slugging it out and the winner really depending on how you define ‘the oldest’
A lot of you may not even have heard of Neirs Tavern because it is in Queens, so it didn’t become a part of New York City until 1897. This fact in the eyes of some, disqualifies it in the discussion of which one is the oldest bar in NYC.
And then if you make one of the criteria ‘continuously open’, that brings up the whole issue of how bars operated during prohibition. Fraunces Tavern is easily the oldest one standing but it’s not clear if it has operated continuously. When it comes down to it however how lucky is NYC to have 3 great old bars to go and visit that are still in good enough condition forr us all to get a good sense of what they were like way back when.