February 25, 2021 , CT Magazine, by Leeanne Griffin- "Artist Mohamad Hafez gained critical acclaim for his best-known work, UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage, a multimedia installation featuring sculptural recreations of Middle Eastern and African refugees' disrupted lives within suitcases.
Thursday | March 4, 2021
March 2, 2021, by Kathy Czepiel- "Everyone on the brewery floor seems happy, even though it’s a slushy winter morning, they’re all bundled in flannel and fleece and the equipment is so loud it’s hard to talk. Rock and roll is blasting in the background, and there are plenty of elbow bumps and smiling eyes above masks as the first run of brewer Alisa Bowens-Mercado’s BGM—that’s Birthday Girl Magic—Vanilla Porter rolls off the conveyor belt. In addition to being the first Black woman brewer in Connecticut, Bowens-Mercado may be the first Blac
Thursday | January 28, 2021
January 27, 2021, by Thomas Breen- "The last round has commenced at the former 500 Blake Street Cafe, as Ocean Management has begun demolishing the once-popular nightspot to make way for 129 new market-rate apartments slated to be built in the heart of Westville Village. Project manager Melissa Saint told the Independent that demolition began on Monday, and should be done in approximately two weeks. When asked for what exactly is happening at the 500 Blake St.
Tuesday | January 26, 2021
Januay 26, by Brian Slattery- "In some parts of the Kehler Liddell Gallery on Whalley Avenue in Westville, there’s a child crawling into a giant sculpture while others look on. A meeting of Segways. A ruffle of clouds over an open city square. In other parts of the gallery, nudes recline in parlors, and walk with strength and determination through ruins.
Monday | January 11, 2021
With the ongoing pandemic, what do municipalities need to do to stay afloat? This hour, we look at neighborhoods and towns in Connecticut working to keep their residents connected and businesses thriving during this pandemic. We hear from residents in Westville, a small thriving community in New Haven.
January 6, 2021, by Kathy Leonard Czepiel- Tucked into little bird's nest pastries and featured in authentic Damascan-style ice cream, pistachios are a key ingredient at the new Pistachio Café in Westville. This "nut of choice" for Syrians, owner Mohamad Hafez says, symbolizes Syria's legendary hospitality.
Wednesday | December 9, 2020
December 6, 2020, by David Sepulveda- "A slow-moving parade of cars made its way down West Rock Avenue as gleeful shouts of “We Love you Margi!” were punctuated with handmade placards, balloons and sounds of celebration. This was no ordinary procession. And “Margi” was no ordinary person. The parade unfolded four weeks ago on a picturesque fall Sunday morning before the front-porch reviewing stand of Dr.
Wednesday | October 28, 2020
October 23, 2020, by Rabhya Mehrotra- Four years ago in Westville, there were 11 empty storefronts. This year, there’s only one. Westville Village Renaissance Alliance Executive Director Lizzy Donius proudly recited that statistic about-well, Westville Village’s current renaissance, during a Thursday afternoon press conference celebrating the opening of two new restaurants and the re-opening of a third. Local politicians, chefs, and neighbors all joined in for the Westville foodie bash in support of Camacho Garage, Delaney’s Restaurant & Tap Room, and Pistachio.
Tuesday | October 20, 2020
August 21, 2020, by Lucy gellman- "It is also a tribute to his love for sweets and coffee, the latter of which he has been making and drinking since he was 12 or 13. As a kid, Hafez was delighted by the very sight of baklava, eyes fixed on trays and cases of the nut-packed sweet as soon as he was tall enough to reach the counter. He also started drinking coffee young, as part of the rituals his family practiced around Ramadan. His mother was a big believer that strong coffee, with dates, apricots, and nuts, should be served after fasting.
October 16, 2020, By Lucy Gellman- "A group of six dancers practiced their best bachata sidestep in Edgewood Park. Just up the street, diners sat down with matching mojitos, scanning a menu that included tacos, fragrant ceviche, and butter-smooth guacamole studded with red onion. Half a block away, Mohamanad Hafez poured his dozenth cup of coffee for the day and set a vegan baklava gingerly beside it. That’s the scene in Westville, which has become an unexpected story of economic resiliency in the midst of COVID-19.