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Early Childhood Center to Replace What was Once the Waterfront Crabhouse on Borden Avenue

2-03 Borden Ave. (Queens Post Photo)

Feb. 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A Mandarin immersion early childhood center is moving into the building that formerly housed the neighborhood institution, the Waterfront Crabhouse restaurant, in Long Island City.

Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center, which currently has a location in Rego Park, is opening up a second center at 2-03 Borden Ave., its Executive Director Kevin Kung confirmed.

The center will serve children from one to five years old and includes a universal pre-K. It’s expected to open for the start of the fall 2020 school year and will serve about 160 students, Kung said.

The center will have 10 classrooms spread between the building’s two floors with state-of-the-art facilities, security and indoor play space.

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.

Kung, a resident of Long Island City, has wanted to open an early childhood center in the area for a long time and jumped at the opportunity to lease the Borden Avenue building.

“I’ve always wanted to open one in Long Island City,” he said. “I live in the community, I love the community. And the opportunity came up, so we took the space.”

The former Waterfront Crabhouse (Queens Post Photo)

The building once housed the Waterfront Crabhouse which fed 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 made it over in 2018 to a Latin restaurant and lounge called The Loft LIC.

The Loft LIC shortly closed as well 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.

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Old fashioned

The parents are afraid to parent the little darlings. I’m all for being loving, kind parents, but some guidance, discipline and the words “no, please, thank-you, excuse me, I’m sorry” are in order. These little ones are raised entitled right out of the womb. They run screaming and yelling through the lobby of my building and on the rooftop garden. Think nothing of running into pedestrians with scooters and bikes while their parents literally beam with pride and say/do nothing. I commute on the NYC Ferry daily during rush hour and had to invest in Bose headphones because I was seriously losing decibels with the unrelenting screaming while the parents stare at their cell phones. I would have never dreamed of subjecting anyone to my children’s bad behavior back in the 80s-90s. Thankfully they are passing that on to my g-kids.

james edstrom

Already a school on block, two day cares, several up the street, more schools being built down the block. When will it end? We need a good bodega, a supermarket, a good restaurant. We have nothing here but daycares and schools.


The Crabhouse had so so food when I went and the location was so old and musty. Better for Crabhouse to re-open in a smaller footprint space in the neighborhood and be successful than occupy such a huge space and be empty.


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