New preschool opens in former Paterson hookah lounge

Gilmore Memorial Preschool will open next week in Paterson. It is housed in a former hookah lounge.

Gilmore Memorial Preschool will open next week in Paterson. It is housed in a former hookah lounge. (8/31/15)

PATERSON - A new preschool will soon openĀ in what once was a notorious Paterson night club, and residents are thrilled.

The Gilmore Memorial Preschool will open next week in what was once the Dubai Lounge hookah bar. The bar was shut down in April after the owners were repeatedly cited over the years for violations.

"There were gunshots. There was fighting. People were urinating against the walls. Having sex on the lawn. It was disgusting," says neighbor Marie Kahwaty.

The school is part of a state-mandated program and is free to attend for Paterson residents.

"We need more preschools so that we can have less hookah bars, less prisons, less jails," says Gilmore Memorial Executive Director Dr. Brenda Belmont. "We can prepare our students to be doctors, lawyers, and attorneys."

Seventy-five students have signed up for the new school.

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