May 26, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A Mandarin immersion early childhood center will open this summer in a building that once housed a neighborhood institution, the Waterfront Crabhouse restaurant, in Long Island City.
Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center, which currently has a location in Rego Park, will open up at 2-03 Borden Ave. to students in July for its summer program. It will be the company’s second center.
“Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center is excited to join the Long Island City community and welcome families to our new school,” Executive Director Kevin Kung said. “Getting children back to school is more important than ever – especially after the challenging year everyone has experienced.”
The center will offer both 3K and Pre-K for all in fall 2021 through a partnership with the NYC Department of Education. The center offers both a free and paid program to support families.
Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center is hosting an open house for interested parents to tour the new facility and meet the director and staff members on June 13.
The facility houses 10 classrooms between two floors and has the capacity to serve 137 students.
All classes will be held in-person. The normal school day is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., however there is also an extended day option from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The preschool center was expected to open for the fall 2020 school year, but its opening was delayed due to the pandemic.
Kung and his team have taken a number of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the center. They have upgraded the building’s HVAC system to improve air quality and filtration, installed UVC lights and they disinfect the classrooms daily with an electrostatic sprayer.
Everyone who enters the preschool will also have their temperature taken at the door and hand sanitizing stations are placed throughout the building.
Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center’s curriculum is inspired by the Reggio approach to learning in which children learn by doing and teachers act as observers and facilitators.
School days will be led in English and Mandarin simultaneously, as they are at the Rego Park school.
The building has been renovated and transformed into a preschool from its former use as a restaurant.
The building once housed the Waterfront Crabhouse which served neighborhood patrons for nearly 40 years until its closure in 2015, shortly after its longtime owner Tony Mazzarella died.
New owners reopened the restaurant over a year later as the Crabhouse Restaurant and then completely revamped it in 2018 to a Latin restaurant and lounge called The Loft LIC.
The Loft LIC later closed and was replaced with an Asian fusion restaurant and lounge called Madame Jade, which also closed.
Parents interested in enrolling their children at the Long Island City location can sign up to receive more information on the center’s website.