PATERSON, NJ - On Tuesday, in recognition of the large community’s assimilation and contributions locally, the Paterson City Council voted unanimously to rename a portion of Union Avenue “Bangladesh Boulevard.”
Just days later, four Bangladeshi entrepreneurs removed any doubt as to whether the South Asian nation’s Diaspora has truly adopted American culture by opening the first Halal pizza shop in the Second Ward.
Located at 296 Preakness Avenue, Halal Brother’s Pizzeria served hundreds of slices to guests from throughout the neighborhood in a grand opening celebration Saturday that also included local dignitaries including Mayor Andre Sayegh and City Council President Martiza Davila.
Sayegh, who has made making Paterson a destination for food lovers a goal of his Administration, offered that the “success of small businesses will be the success of our city,” before joking that he is confident in Halal Brother’s ranking as the top Bangladeshi pizza place on the planet.
While one of the four co-owners has previously owned a restaurant the business is a new one for the others, Abdul Gafur told TAPInto Paterson. With the only other Halal pizzerias being located in South Paterson, they are simply filling a need.
Asked what the owners know about making pizza, not a dish typically considered traditional fare for Bangladeshis, Uddin smiled and offered that “we have integrated into the community.”
“Paterson is on the rise, and the Second Ward is leading the way,” Councilman Shahin Khalique said wishing the owners luck. “I know Halal Brothers will finds great success in our community.”
Khalique was also joined by 6th Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz who expressed confidence, based on the experience of his nearly lifelong friend Alaa who worked for many years at Broadway Pizza, and Board of Education Commissioner Joel Ramirez.
Uddin also recognized the significance of the support from the elected officials saying that it shows their “commitment to the community.”
“This is what we need more of,” Uddin said. “This is how the city will revitalize.”
Halal Brother’s Pizzeria is open 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. seven days a week.